SHANNON DOYNE and HOLLY EPSTEIN OJALVO
Library of Congress
Overview | What can a single sentence accomplish? In this lesson, students share favorite sentences, look closely at what makes them great, paraphrase them, then evaluate the results. They also work with sentences that are “mini-narratives” and write some of their own, before writing full-fledged short stories based on other students’ sentences.
Materials | Student journals, computer with Internet access (optional), index cards.
Warm-Up | Several days before teaching this lesson, ask students to spend the next few days on a hunt for excellent sentences, according to their own standards, which they will explain when they share. They should jot down these sentences in their journals or in a commonplace book.
Tell them anything is fair game, including literature and one-liners from movies. They might even want to copy down something they overheard, saw in an advertisement, heard in a song or even spray-painted on a building. Their choices can be sentences they read or heard long ago or ones they encounter this week.