Expanding a Sentence

The teachers and I thought the students might need a bit more help with reporting vs. storytelling, so we came up with an idea to get the students to do some practice on their own.

I first reminded the students about what we did the week before and why we used the strategy. We talked about what makes takes our writing from reporting to storytelling and used the anchor chart to help us remember what we can do to make it better. I told the students that today we'd be working on one sentence together and then they would have the opportunity to work on some sentences on their own.

We started with "It was cold." I asked students to help me write a paragraph that would show my readers how cold it was. We worked together to write a paragraph. They did a pretty good job of using what we learned last week, but I did have to help them along the way, asking questions like "how could we use some dialogue?" or "What actions might this person take?"

After we wrote, I went back in and identified places where we used each of our storytelling strategies.

Next, I handed out cards with boring sentences for the students to practice expanding on their own with at least one example of each of our storytelling strategies. In one class I handed out one card to a partnership and the two students wrote together. In another class I handed out one card to each student on which they wrote and then I had them pair up with the person who had the same boring sentence as them to start with. I'm honestly not sure which one worked better because the two classes are both very different. I don't think working in pairs would have worked for the second class and I don't think working individually would have worked in the first, so I just had to read the room.

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