Class began with students turning in their first quarter tickets for extra credit. Students could also choose to turn in their homework passes, or they could keep them for the next quarter.
After reading, we listened to a few of our final book talks for first quarter (the others will finish tomorrow), and then we moved into a long awaited lesson: power sentences. Power sentences can be scary because they are a new way of constructing a super descriptive sentence with an interesting structure and precise diction; however, they really make your writing pop!
Students began learning about them by looking at these three examples from my story and thinking/talking about what they notice about them:
Smashing the fallen leaves on the gravel path, my shoes trampled on through the night, so dark I felt I was walking through black ink.
Rustling the brittle leaves, the wind scratched my cheeks and gnawed at the tip of my nose.
Like razor blades, spindly fingers protruded from the figure’s endless limbs.
Next, students received the handout below, and we worked together on writing a variety of power sentences, changing the mundane sentence “The boy went up the stairs.” to much more interesting and descriptive sentences.
There are a few keys to writing a power sentence.
- The first part MUST describe the subject of your sentence.
- Your verb MUST be a strong one, not one that we use in our regular, everyday speech.
- The ending MUST be detailed and descriptive. It doesn’t have to describe anything in particular, but there needs to be something there that “paints a picture” for your reader.
After practicing as a class, students practiced in their groups and then on their own before using the back of the handout to plan the power sentences for their own writing pieces. I visited with each table and examined at least one power sentence written by each student, so everyone received at least some feedback today.
Class ended with students beginning to code their pieces, so they are ready for peer revision tomorrow. Students should use the code on the sheet below. There is also an example of it on google classroom.
- Read for 25 minutes.
- Book orders due tomorrow
- Rough drafts due on Friday by noon – should be absolutely, 100% as good as you can get it on your own