Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paint with words or stretch your sentence...

You can call it whatever you like, but anyway you look at it, descriptive words turn into delicious sentences (and paragraphs) that begin a playful romp with language. These words can take their reader on a trip to tropical islands across the sea, they can build characters with real emotions, they can do anything that you as a writer intend.

So, writers, let's paint with words again. If you're a teacher and you're more comfortable saying "Let's stretch a sentence," I'm fine with that.

I'm going to paint with words to start us off. For example, the sentence, "He sat down." is boring. It tells me nothing. How about if I said, "His round bum squished into the tattered cushion of the faded corduroy easy chair as he wiped the sweat off his forehead." Does that paint a picture for you?

Your turn now. Writers, get creative. Use this sentence as your starting point: She ate lunch.

Paint with words (or stretch your sentence) to show me your character's strengths and weaknesses, her likes or dislikes. I can't wait to read what you write! My guess is that you won't be able to stop with just one sentence. Your fingers might just be flying across your keyboard!

Teachers, once again, this can be a quick activity to use while you're taking attendance.
Put this sentence on the board: It is winter.

Give your kids a little nudge. Ask them to paint a picture with their words to show you that it is winter. It's okay for you to glance out the window and mention frost on the pane or anything else that you see. In fact, it's essential that you are involved in the writing process. Children who love to write are usually surrounded by adults who show that it's okay to play with words.

Teachers and parents, as usual, this exercise can be done orally.

Let your creativity flow! Don't forget to share.


Sandy said...

Updated in mini form The Bridge, Traveling Suitcase and Sandy's stop over. Bed soon.

Updated yesterday Stitching Life Together...nudge nudge

She ate lunch without enthusiam in a crowded, dimly lite noisey hospital caffeteria on a crocked chair. Not much flare there...

Sandy said...

So cool, I can search, so can you from my new search engine on Sandy Space and Traveling Suitcase, I typed in your name in the google search box on my page and was able to get here.

Give it a try. Type in a type of wine, or something.

Night now

Suzanne said...

Great idea, Jan. I love the idea of painting with words.

Amber~ Care and Feeding of Wild Things said...

Ok, I'll give it a try!
"As the sweet baby napped she gratefully took the opportunity to eat lunch alone without tiny fingers clutching at her ankles; savoring the juicy sweet tomato, the smooth creamy texture of mozarella di buffalo, and the pungent fresh basil of her humble caprese salad, and although she was enjoying her food immensely at the same time she was counting her blessings one of which was her precious sleeping baby." I don't know, isn't that a run-on sentence?

Glue Girl said...

Perched primly, looking like a little brown wren in her best hat, my maiden aunt delicately ate her lunch of tea and toast among the loggers and lumberjacks who were the diner's bread and butter.

The W.O.W. factor! said...

Quickly glancing over her left shoulder, she quietly slides into the cold steel seat tucked far away from the colorful cheery room. Bending at her shoulders, hiding, she reaches into the deepest coat pocket. Slowly, diligently, she pulls out and gently unwraps the dark bread.
She eats her lunch.