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The sentence assault course


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A presentation used to encourage my students to employ a range of sentence structures for effect.

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The sentence assault course

  1. 1. The Sentence Assault Course<br />
  2. 2. Use 2 adjectives at the start<br />Strong and focused, the male meerkat eyed its quarry with anticipation.<br />
  3. 3. Use a verb participle at the start or end (-ing / -ed)<br />Running swiftly across the dusty clearing, the meerkat prepared to strike.<br />He limped away, the porcupine’s quills stuck out at odd angles and as he moved they trembled.<br />
  4. 4. Use an adverb at the start<br />Smugly, the porcupine continued on his way to the watering hole.<br />
  5. 5. Use noun or adjective appositives as informative interrupters<br />The porcupine, spines bristling in the breeze, waddled towards the waterline.<br />
  6. 6. Use parallel structures<br />The crocodile spied the porcupine, glided across the oasis, and patiently waited.<br />
  7. 7. User a dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction<br />Because it was lying so still, the porcupine was unaware of the crocodile lying in wait.<br />
  8. 8. Experiment with using the active or passive voice<br />The crocodile ate the porcupine with relish.<br />The porcupine was eaten by the crocodile with relish.<br />
  9. 9. Start with an infinitive<br />To ensure his future success as an apex predator, the crocodile got a good night’s sleep.<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Sentence stalking<br /><br />
  12. 12. I stared at my father’s photograph—his thin face stern, lips latched tight, his eyes peering permanently to the right.<br />Seedfolks<br />Paul Fleischman <br />I walked to the run-down market—dirty white walls, roof sinking in, the door constantly swinging against the wall.<br />
  13. 13. This is a snail shell, round, full, and glossy as a horse chestnut.<br />Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea <br />
  14. 14. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.<br />The Gift of the Magi<br />O Henry<br />
  15. 15. His hangover was visible. It heaved itself to his shoulders and sat there like a bag of wet cement.<br />The Book Thief<br />Marcus Zusak<br />
  16. 16. He thought, for the first time in a long time, of the house on Egypt Street and of Abilene winding his watch and then bending toward him and placing it on his left leg, saying: I will come home to you.The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane<br />Kate Dicamillo<br />
  17. 17. When they spoke, which was not often, it was to maintain the pretence that they were in control of their lives, that their problems were soluble, that in time the world would become a happier place.In the Lake of the Woods<br />Tim O'Brien<br />
  18. 18. Nothing. No heart beats, no blood moves, no breath inflates the sails of her lungs. Silence.The Time Traveler's Wife<br />Audrey Niffenegger<br />
  19. 19. Tense muscles readied themselves to uncoil. Necks craned. Eyes crinkled. Fights broke out. And when the last kite was cut, all hell broke loose.”<br />KhaledHosseini<br />The Kite Runner<br />