My students were working on effective verb choice again today. after reading the poem Same Song by Pat Mora yesterday, I asked them to write a single sentence that relied on the verbs to tell a story. This is not an easy concept, but since it was only one sentence, I was able to engage almost every student in a dialog to critically analyze and revise the first draft.
The boy tip-toed quietly across the room trying not to be seen.
Me: How do you not tip-toe quietly? Isn't that the point?
Student: The boy tip-toed across the room, trying not to be seen.
Me: What room was it?
Student: The boy tip-toed across the kitchen, trying not to be seen.
Me: What did he want in the kitchen?
Student: The boy tip-toed across the kitchen trying not to be seen, took the chips, and ran back to his room.
Me: Didn't they see him when he ran back to his room?
Me: Try starting with the chips.
Student: The boy grabbed the chips...
Me: Go on...
Student: and tiptoed across the kitchen and back to his room.
A few other sentences from the day:
The clean dishes sparkled like diamonds in the dish drain.
"No!" I gasped as my mother collapsed to the ground.