Friday, February 14, 2014

Show don't Tell

In preparation for the FL writes we have been focusing on writing descriptive sentences that paint a picture in the readers mind. This method of writing is often refereed to as 'Show Don't Tell'
The students were given this fold-able that I created using Word. I presented six reasons for why showing is better than telling:
1. Helps the readers make pictures in their mind
2. Showing makes writing interesting
3. Showing is more specific than telling
4. Showing makes the reader slow down. Focuses on one thing longer, sentences are longer
5. The sound of words are: smoother, flows and musical
6. Showing requires specific vocabulary
With each reason students drew a picture that correlated to the reason 

They were then given telling sentences that they have to turn into showing sentences. There was a total of eight sentences that dealt with a prompt they were writing. 
I related reading a telling essay to a black & white movie and a showing essay to a movie in color.


  1. I love the foldable and the idea of relating show don't tell to nonfiction/essay writing. (It makes so much sense, but I have actually never seen anyone do this before.) But where did these sentences come from? I don't think they would be too appropriate for my 6th grade students.

  2. This is such a valuable tool - thanks for sharing! Showing versus telling can also be applied to all kinds of other opportunities, e.g. creating business pitches, conveying sympathy, blog posts etc. Here's an article I wrote from the perspective of a fiction editor, if you're interested:


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