Writing Skills Lesson - Show me, don't tell me


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Jasmine hurt her leg is a boring way to tell readers about the time that the curious preschooler climbed atop a barn when no one was looking. Telling not only bores readers, but it also omits details that are important. This PowerPoint compares and contrasts showing and telling. There are also a number of examples included that can be used with students to allow them to practice turning these less-than-inspiring “telling” examples into motivational, inspiring, and thought provoking details. Included with each “telling” quote is a “showing” example that shows just how easily one can expand on the condensed detail with elaborated sensory details that relate to relevant memories. Making the connection to one’s senses is a key component of transitioning from “telling” to “showing” readers!

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Writing Skills Lesson - Show me, don't tell me

  1. 1. DON’T TELL ME! © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  2. 2.  Showing ◦ Makes use of sensory details ◦ Provides imagery that allows the reader to feel present in the memory ◦ Evokes emotional responses ◦ INTERESTING to read!  Telling ◦ Simply states what is happening ◦ Doesn’t make the reader feel connected ◦ Lacks emotions ◦ BORING to read! © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  3. 3.  There are a number of “telling” examples. Use these examples to let your students practice writing “showing” snapshots.  Or…allow them to see how “telling” examples can be turned into “showing” snapshots that add interest and imagery! © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  4. 4. Telling: Showing: I went hunting, and I shot a deer. My cousin, Scotty, and I were having a good time. Fall could be felt around us. The sun was shining on the leaves making the beautiful fall colors light up the mountains where we had gone searching for the deer. After having been taught several useful hunting techniques, I was eager to put them to good use. “Scotty, did you hear that?” A nod from him confirmed that an animal was close by. The look in his eyes and the second nod confirmed that he had seen it about the same time I had: less than ten feet away stood a beautiful buck that must have been at least eight points. Raising my gun, I was careful to aim with accuracy and good technique. I could feel my finger slowly moving the trigger. The bang from the gun’s barrel filled our hears. “You got him, Logan!” exclaimed my cousin. Walking over, I was all smiles. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  5. 5. Telling: Showing: House training was the hardest. He used the bathroom everywhere. I knew that if I planned to keep Bengie indoors, he was going to have to be housetrained. I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that, but I knew that my new friend and I were going to have to learn this together. I would frequently pick him up and take him outside. He never seemed to go right then. Frustration started to take over me after I found his business in the floor more than once. I kept telling him, “Bengie, when you have to go, let me know. Bark, go to the door, do something.” Needless to say, I cleaned up more messes than I wanted, but he was worth it, and yes, finally he did become housetrained. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  6. 6. Telling: Showing: It was the fastest slide I have ever been on. Sitting atop the giant water slide, I had a picturesque view of the aqua colored water around me. You have never really seen the ocean, until you see it from an arial view. Even though, I wasn’t exactly in the air, I was elevated enough to have a pretty spectacular view. Upon finally starting to move, I could feel myself gaining speed and the distant water was coming closer and closer. The giant smile on my face turned into laughter at about the exact moment that SPLASH! The steep drop had propelled me into the water. What a rush! © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  7. 7. Telling: Showing: His favorite thing to do was for me and him to lay in the igloos that my dad and I had made. Kodiak and I loved to crawl inside the creviced opening of the igloo that my dad and I had made. The temperature around me was chilly and made my nose feel like an ice cream cone that was left in the freezer a little too long, but the warmth from Kodiak’s soft fur filled my body with a warmth that made this moment tolerable. I’m not sure why my dog liked being inside there so much…maybe it was only the calm before the storm. After only a short while, I would see Kodiak’s stretching out his front paws and then extending to a full stand. His still, peaceful state would be past. Leaving the igloo, I could see him nearing the snow that I had sculpted into a beautiful snowman. Boom! My snowman had been recruited for a game of football and Kodiak had made the first successful tackle. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  8. 8. Telling: Showing: I remember going through the tornado simulation. My mom was across from me, as we had taken our position into the tornado simulation. A look of apprehension was on her face. I asked, “What do you think this will feel like?” Just as she smiled, we could feel the winds start to pick up. At first it was mild, but the gauge on the monitor kept going higher and higher. I felt the wind slightly throwing me off balance, but it was invigorating to experience the thrill of the tornado without the danger of trying to get to safety. When we were maxed out at full tornado simulation, I smiled a smile of success. What a moment to gain more understanding of nature, the environment, and even better to have experienced it with my mom. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  9. 9. Telling: Showing: The first thing we saw was the Tennessee Titans football stadium. As we neared our destination, the Meca Car Show, the Tenneesse Titans football stadium came into view. “Look over there, Dad,” I enthusiastically commented. My dad nodded. I was anxious to arrive at the car show, but was just as eager to picture myself playing on the field of an NFL team. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  10. 10. Telling: Showing: Well, after we would get done talking, we could go and play. Talking with my niece is always fun, but playing is where the fun really starts. My niece loves to run from one toy to another, tossing the ball from her to me. I gently toss it back, hoping she will catch it because I want her to feel success. Soon, her attention changes, and she has spotted her See and Say. Bringing it to me, I pull the cord and we listen to the words, as the machine echoes them out for us both to hear. I know it won’t be long until she dart off to find another toy, but I pull the string again and hear the “mooooooooooo” ehco from the toy. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  11. 11. Telling: Showing: Well, when we got him home he was so playful. As soon as Uno entered the house, he made himself comfortable and started exploring. His nose seemed to be savoring the scent of his new home. His tail was wagging proudly, and then he darted into a full run. I went after him and was eager to have my first play match with my new friend, Uno. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  12. 12. Telling: Showing: He would pull out wires from underneath the truck. By the time, Buster had gained thirty pounds, he could pretty much make anything his own toy. I will never forget the time that he decided to turn my dad’s truck into one of those toys. He had climbed underneath the truck and found some wires that caught his attention. Batting at them with his paw only created more interest, as they swung loosely. Soon, his teeth were involved and he was tugging. I imagine that as he pulled the wires kept giving more and more until finally he had completely torn them from underneath the truck. I wasn’t there to see him destroy the wires, but I was around to watch my dad felt absolutely furious. © www.edgalaxy.com – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers