A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Showing with Participial Phrases

verbs (serving as adjective phrases) that launch action-packed sentences

Student Writer Instructions:

Remember Sassy, dancing on the Milky Way, in Dancing in the Wings?   Remember how creatively Debbie Allen used participial phrases to describe Sassy and her dreams?  You, taking on this writing challenge,  will also have the chance to use and create participial phrases to build your own story about a character.  Are you up for the challenge?

A participial phrase is an -ing phrase that will add advanced description for the subject of your sentence.  Starting with a participial phrase, a writer can add great variety to his/her sentences.

For this writing exercise, press the first button below and choose a participial phrase from our on-line collection.  Pressing the second button, you will discover a variety of choices for character ideas to include in your sentence AFTER your participial phrase. 

Once you have pressed both buttons, you will need to use your imagination AND complete the sentence with a predicate that starts with a verb phrase.  If you write a sentence that you really like, you can now create a whole new story about your character.  You can use your first sentence as either in the beginning, the middle, or the end of your story. 

Can you include original participial phrases throughout your entire story?  Can you explain why they have the potential to make your sentences more interesting?


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.

Choose a participial phrase...  

(It's okay to come up with your own phrase here, if you're not inspired by any of ours!)

...and choose a character to complete your sentence...
(It's okay to come up with your own character here, if you're not inspired by any of ours!)


...then write your story...

Here's a writer's challenge: to add even more detailed descriptions, create and use three more participial phrases to describe your character and/or what s/he is doing in the story you have written. To create a participial phrase, first take a present tense verb, then add the suffix -ing to it. It's easy if you just keep trying!   


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