Thursday, April 26, 2007

Those creative fifth graders again

I'm moving along in the biography writing workshop I'm conducting with fifth graders. One of my favorite writing tools to stress is "show, don't tell." Listen to some of the befores and afters of the students' work that was a result of revision after discussing "show, don't tell" (I swear that these are actual examples):

Before: Jason loved baseball.
After: As soon as Jason got home from school, he dashed back to his room to grab his baseball mitt, then hurried to meet his friends in the vacant lot next door.

Before: Her favorite subject was history.
After: She especially loved hearing stories about the past and how places were discovered.

Before: His favorite subject was geography.
After: He loved it when the teacher whacked her pointer on the map, pointing out countries and rivers.

Before: John loved to go to the Cape every summer with his family.
After: John counted the days until his family would load the beach chairs and boogie boards into the car and head for the Cape.

And my personal favorite:
He hated doing chores, like vacuuming, washing dishes or raking.
After: He groaned when he had to vacuum. He whined when he had to wash dishes. He grumbled when he had to rake.

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