When I visit schools I sometimes do a “Show Not Tell” writing activity with students. My nephew’s fourth grade class in Bellevue, Washington loved this activity. I wrote this telling sentence on the board:

Sra. Colyer’s class was misbehaving. 

The student writers made it come alive by adding the details below. 

Brandon was jumping on the tables. Will threw a basketball at Taylor and then he started to scream. Sergio jumped through the closed window and broke the glass. Cory turned on the TV and started watching “Oprah.” Then Sra. Colyer stormed in and said, “What were you thinking?!?”

It’s more fun and descriptive to read, don’t you agree? 

Try  the “show don’t tell” technique on one or more of the sentences below. Don’t forget to use it in any of your writing to make it jump off the page.

John was bored.
Martha was mean to her sister.
Sarah was acting silly.
Monica’s mother loved her.
Noey was acting very dramatic.
James was a good basketball player.
Will was smart
Claire was daydreaming.
There was a storm outside.
The day was nice.
Roland was hungry.

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