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Teaching Students to "Show, Don't Tell" in Their Writing

By Beth Newingham on January 31, 2013
  • Grades: 3–5

This is one of the most powerful ways to significantly improve student writing. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, the goal is to teach students not to tell what is happening in their stories (Amy was nervous), but to show what is happening instead (Amy’s palms were sweaty).

When I teach the following writing mini-lesson on my SMART Board, students bring their Writer’s Notebooks to the carpet. The first few slides provide students with examples of showing vs. telling, and then they are given three telling sentences. They must choose one to rewrite as a showing paragraph (the active engagement part of the mini-lesson). Students then head back to their seats and attempt to incorporate this skill into their own writing.

Download the complete SMART Board file.

Comments (2)

Responding to your comment, I don't see any link to a worksheet, only the SMART Board file. That is working for me.

I have tried opening the worksheets, but it doesn't work.

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