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Show What Your Mind Sees

using showing and telling together
to organize a paragraph

What's showing instead of telling when writing?  Well, as Mark Twain once said...

"Don't say the old lady screamed.  Bring her on and let her scream."

Student Writer Instructions:

In The Twits, author Roald Dahl doesn't tell us "Mr. Twit's beard was dirty."  Instead he shows us how filthy it is in his chapter entitled "Dirty Beards."

Read the details from that chapter again.  Quickly draw a picture of what you think the beard looked like, based on the words from the chapter.  Could someone draw such a detailed picture after reading something you write?

Today you'll be trying to do just that.

By pressing the button below, you will be given one of twenty telling sentences to choose from.  Your writer's job will be to transform that telling sentence into four or five showing sentences that provide unique and interesting details to a reader. 

Use strong verbs to show the details!  Paint a picture in your reader's mind with excellent adjectives and specific nouns that would put better pictures in your reader's mind.

After you have created four or five detail-packed showing sentences, insert your original telling sentence somewhere into your paragraph too.  Will it work better as your paragraph's first sentence, its last sentence, or as a sentence somewhere in the middle?

When you're done writing, read what you have a friend.  How close will his/her drawing come to the picture you originally had in your head before writing?

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Telling sentences that you can show your reader:

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