Writing descriptively

Today I decided to begin the writing project I described in the penultimate entry. I reminded them of the story, “Thank you Ma’am” that we read a few months ago. We spent a long time on that one, and they really seemed to get it, so I was thinking it was a good one to work with for this response to literature.

We began to talk about it, and I reminded them of what happened. They remembered it well and told me about it as well. After writing a brief summary of the plotline on an overhead transparency, and talking over the climax of it, I said that I wanted them to write a description of just that part. I asked for words that show a picture, and together we brainstormed a bunch of words that might fit. Like “Small, furnished room, kitchenette, grilled cheese sandwich, bowl of soup, heavy purse, broken strap.” Someone suggested that in description we needed figurative language. YES!! So I roamed the room while they wrote. Except they barely wrote at all. In fact they had no idea what to do. “You mean you want us to draw a picture to show it to you?” “No, I want you to use words that show me.” “Hm…Shall we draw it then?” It was as if there were thick clouds of fog surrounding each head in the room, and my words were unable to pierce it.

How will we write an essay if we can’t write more than a sentence? Hm. Back to the drawing board for me!


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