Painting Your Words With Brushstrokes DIRECTIONS: Read the definitions of Noden’s 5 Brushstrokes, then write a sentence that models each one.
PARTICIPLES: A participle is an “ing” word or phrase tagged on the beginning or end of a sentence. It can also be an “ed” word. Present participles end in “ing,” while past participles end in “ed.”
Ex: Barking loudly, the dog scared off the intruder. Ex: Sprinting down the field, the running back outran the defense. Ex: Badly bruised, the man climbed from the car wreck. Now write a sentence about something you did this morning. Make sure your sentence contains a participle!
ABSOLUTES: An absolute adds description to a noun, a subject, or a phrase acting as a noun by adding a two-word phrase that creates more vivid description. Simply put, it’s a noun with a “ing” participle.
Ex: Motors revving, the cars prepared to race. Ex: The boy ran as fast as he could, feet racing, arms pumping. Ex: The cat, teeth biting, claws scratching, was clearly in a bad mood. Now write a sentence about something funny that once happened to you. Make sure your sentence contains an absolute!
APPOSITIVES: A noun or a nominative phrase that adds a second description, image, or idea to a previous noun. Simply put, it’s when you rename a noun.
Ex: Stephen King, one of the most famous horror writers of all time, wrote my favorite novel, Dreamcatcher. Ex: His bedroom, a sloppy pigsty, was a scary place to visit! Ex: My car, a rusty piece of junk, still gets me around town just fine. Now write a sentence about your favorite teacher from elementary school. Make sure you describe your teacher with an appositive!
ADJECTIVES OUT OF ORDER: This is an easy one! Simply shift the order in which you describe something.
Boring Example: The short, nerdy teacher is trying to get us to write. Better Example: The teacher, short and nerdy, is trying to get us to write. Boring Example: The growling, menacing dog was ready to pounce. Better Example: The dog, growling, menacing, was ready to pounce. Now write a sentence about your favorite room in your house. Make sure you describe the room with out of order adjectives!
Painting with Action Verbs: When writing, you should show, not tell! Write with verbs that paint powerful pictures of actions. Avoid boring verbs!
Boring Example: I held onto the wheel for dear life. Better Example: I clung to the wheel for dear life. Boring Example: The boy jumped off the couch and flew through the air. Better Example: The boy leaped off the couch and soared through the air. Now write a sentence about something your did over the summer. Make sure your sentence contains at least one powerful action verb.