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Elaboration Module Series of Lessons

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1 Elaboration Module Series of Lessons
Defining Elaboration Asking Questions that Lead to Elaboration Recognizing Elaboration Show, Don't Tell Specific, Concrete Details versus General Language Elaboration within Sentences Layering -- Elaboration Using Multiple Sentences Criteria for Assessment Each lesson has four parts. Entry—a short beginning activity designed to generate interest, review the previous lesson, make connections, and/or relate material to student’s daily lives Lesson—the new information or concepts for the section Activity—the place where students apply the lesson on their own Assessment—These activities will also serve as formative assessments; that is, if the students are not “getting it,” it would be a good idea to go back and re-teach the concepts using different examples and/or other teaching strategies. Some students may need more time and opportunity to grasp the concepts. There is an Elaboration Scoring Guide and a Student Checklist as well as sample student papers at varying points throughout the module for a more formal assessment.

2 SHOW, DON’T TELL Lesson 4 Daily showing, not telling practice is an effective way to impact students’ writing. Put a “general sentence” on the overhead or board. See examples below (and on SLIDE 32). Have students create showing sentences. In addition to impacting writing, this is a great entry task, sponge, or transitional activity. An example - A general sentence - My dog was playing. A showing sentence - Growling and slobbering, my 3-year-old black lab Grover tugged at the rubber bone I held in my hand. More general sentence examples - The movie was exciting. I walked home. The make-up aisle was full. A crowd assembled in the gym. We went to the birthday party. Everyone at the game was excited. The dog learned a trick. My cat is nice. The building was tall. The building was old. The building was new. The cookies were colorful and good.

3 Show, don’t tell. What is the difference between these two sentences? Which one is better and why? A. The room was a mess. B. Rumpled bedspread, piled up clothes, and jumbled dresser greeted me as I pushed my way into the room. Students should be able to recognize and tell why the second example is more explicit and creates a mental picture. Also, the verb pushed is much stronger than the ”to be” verb was in the first sentence. Lesson 4

4 Definition of Telling and Showing
Telling is the use of broad generalizations. Showing is the use of details, facts, statistics, examples, anecdotes, quotations, dialogue – elaboration– to develop, persuade, explain, or enliven a story. Read the definition to the students. Clarify any words they might not understand. Generate examples. Distribute WASL Elab samples from the Document Folder. Discuss how show, don’t tell can be used within a variety of strategies. Focus the discussion on the details that show. Lesson 4

5 Show with Description White shirts are dumb.
White shirts are hard to clean, show pizza stains, and make you look like a waiter in a cheesy restaurant. Read slide. Discuss the elaboration in the second sentence. See if students could add different descriptive words or phrases to this sentence. Lesson 4

6 Telling vs. Showing 1 There are many fascinating things to see at the Farmer’s Market, which has been around for a long time. Rows of tangerines, crisp red apples, long purple eggplants, and succulent strawberries invite the shopper to stop at every farmer’s stand. Many of the farmers in the Farmers’ Market have sold their home-grown vegetables and fruits since the early 1900’s when the market was the only place to buy fresh food in the city. Now the market has expanded to include bakeries, funky antique stores, and a comic book vendor. The market is a visual feast for tourists and a keepsake for our town. This slide and the next three slides show different types of elaboration. There will be a variety of elaborative strategies, but one that will stand out. The red sentence is the topic (telling) sentence. In each case students should discuss and identify words that SHOW rather than tell. You may want to duplicate these slides so students can highlight the words working with partners. Vivid description is the main elaboration strategy used here to show the many fascinating things to see at the Farmers’ Market. Find the words that show that the market is fascinating. Lesson 4

7 Telling vs. Showing 2 The Beatles started a new trend in music in the mid-sixties. For many Americans the evening of February 9,1964, was a turning point in musical history. On this evening the Beatles made their debut in America on the Ed Sullivan television show. Kathi Anderson, then sixteen in Chicago, remembers, “My friends and I sat shaking and hugging each other on the couch in my living room as the Fab Four bounced out onto the stage. Their shaggy hair shook as they sang ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and ‘She Loves You’ with an energy and sound we’d never heard before. We were instantly and forever in love.” That night the British Invasion, as it was called, began. The red sentence is the topic (telling) sentence. The anecdote (or personal story) is the main elaboration strategy used here. Discuss with students the words that show this might have become a new trend. Lesson 4

8 Telling vs. Showing 3 The Seattle Sonics, led by Ray Allen, won Friday’s game.
The Seattle Sonics game against the Minneapolis Timberwolves on Friday night ended with the Sonics beating the Timberwolves in overtime.  Ray Allen, the Sonics’ star, struggled all night with his shot, but he ended up scoring 32 points for the game. Allen averages 31.5 points per game. According to the City Daily News, "Allen was 7-for-24 from the field in regulation, but went 3-for-4 in overtime, including two 3-pointers, and scored all but two of Seattle's points in the extra five minutes."  With that win, Seattle won the first game of the new season. The red sentence is the topic (telling) sentence. The author uses statistics to show specifically how the Sonics won. Discuss with students the words that show how they won. Lesson 4

9 Telling vs. Showing 4 Manastash Field is dangerous.
Manastash Soccer Field has caused more injuries to players than any other in the valley according to Tony Vela, the director of the North Valley Soccer Association. “The field is nothing more than sand and hard clay. Clouds of dust explode into the air when players kick the ball. My players say it’s hard to see and breathe. When they fall, they end up with bloody shins.” Vela called upon the North Valley Parks Department to spend its money on fixing fields rather than on useless advertising. The red sentence is the topic (telling) sentence. The author uses a quotation from an expert and vivid description to show in detail why the field is dangerous. Discuss with students the words that show that the field is dangerous. Lesson 4

10 Some General Sentences
With a partner, discuss how to make these sentences show, rather than tell. Pick two and rewrite them on your own. The man in the car was angry. I was tired last night. The pizza was delicious. The car was filthy. Have students pick two of the sentences and rewrite them so they show, rather than tell. The goal is to make the reader see, hear, feel, touch, or taste the experience. It’s ok to write multiple sentences or multiple paragraphs. Have students get together in groups of four to share sentences. Each student will read both revisions out loud. The others listen quietly and then give feedback one at a time. They should tell the writer what they liked and make suggestions to add showing details. Example - Telling sentence - The car was filthy. Showing sentences - When I opened the door of my son’s car, I was first assaulted by the overwhelming odor of mildew. This was combined with the lingering aroma of greasy cheeseburger wrappers and sweaty gym socks. My eyes wandered to the passenger’s seat littered with empty water bottles, gum wrappers, and foamy, scummy latte cups. The worst, however, was sitting down on the driver’s seat, hearing the crackle of potato chips, and feeling the stickiness of cotton candy on the steering wheel. Lesson 4

11 Not So General Sentences
I knew I needed to see the situation in my head first and then try to describe it for the reader. Each group should select one revision from the previous slide to share with the class. See student samples - General vs. Specific Reflections HS Reflections MS Then, have students explain either orally or in a note to the teacher what they were thinking, what strategies they chose, and why. Find the student samples, General vs. Specific in the document folder. You may want to use these samples to stimulate a group discussion of how Show Don’t Tell impacts the effectiveness of writing. Then, tell your students that they get to see inside the heads (see the thinking) of other students in Washington state. Show the Reflections MS (Middle School) or Reflections HS (High School) found in the Document Folder, depending on your grade level. Have students read these aloud and discuss how other students felt their writing was impacted by these lessons. OPTIONAL ACTIVITY An optional follow-up activity. Have students list as many pizza ingredients as they can on the overhead. Then, in their groups of four, they write a well-elaborated description of the most disgusting pizza ever. This activity was very well received by tenth graders. Lesson 4

12 Reflections This slide is a visual showing students thinking about their work and helps to foster a thoughtful environment for students as they write their own reflections. Lesson 4

13 Your Turn Think back to the examples from the Beatles, the Farmers’ Market, Ray Allen, and the Manastash Soccer Field. Discuss with your partner which example appealed most to you. Why? Which example might your principal or one of your parents like? Why? Opportunity for practice A beginning writer tends to focus on him/herself. As the writer progresses, s/he becomes more aware of audience and the needs of the audience. This second question emphasizes how the writer considers which details would appeal to each reader. Lesson 4

14 Elaboration Module Series of Lessons
Defining Elaboration Asking Questions that Lead to Elaboration Recognizing Elaboration Show, Don't Tell Specific, Concrete Details versus General Language Elaboration within Sentences Layering -- Elaboration Using Multiple Sentences Criteria for Assessment Each lesson has four parts. Entry—a short beginning activity designed to generate interest, review the previous lesson, make connections, and/or relate material to student’s daily lives Lesson—the new information or concepts for the section Activity—the place where students apply the lesson on their own Assessment—These activities will also serve as formative assessments; that is, if the students are not “getting it,” it would be a good idea to go back and re-teach the concepts using different examples and/or other teaching strategies. Some students may need more time and opportunity to grasp the concepts. There is an Elaboration Scoring Guide and a Student Checklist as well as sample student papers at varying points throughout the module for a more formal assessment.

15 SPECIFIC, CONCRETE DETAILS vs. GENERAL LANGUAGE
Lesson 5

16 Words are like rocks. They come in all sizes. Small rocks represent small words. Big rocks represent big words. BUT . . . If you are able to get actual rocks, and even a piece of concrete, they create a solid visual for students. Lesson 5

17 Rocks are not as strong as CONCRETE.
CONCRETE details are the specific, exact names of things. Using CONCRETE details will make your paper stronger, just like CONCRETE makes a building stronger. Concrete details are SPECIFIC. Have students generate all the things in which they would find concrete - buildings, a bank safe, foundation for skyscraper, bridge, and even the fillings in teeth are made of a type of concrete. Concrete makes things stronger. Concrete details will make a paper stronger. Lesson 5

18 Look for the SPECIFIC details.
Meredith and Maria slammed their lockers and ran down the Freshmen Hall toward the lunchroom. How much longer until they would have their official Driver’s License and could eat off campus? They could barely stand the thought of eating hot lunch pizza, a fruit cup, and washing it down with a 6-ounce carton of chocolate milk. Three more months until they turned 16. Agony. As you click on the mouse, red dots will appear and cover the SPECIFIC details in this paragraph. Concrete details are the exact names of things, places, and people. They help create a higher level of specificity in a paper. Lesson 5

19 Using Specific Details
School lunches are (good) (bad). Choose either side. Rewrite the sentence on the left, using specific language. Write more than one sentence to elaborate. See student samples - Grade 10 Lunch Grade 7 Lunch The example of Grade 7 Lunch or Grade 10 Lunch can be found in Document Folder and may be used in the following ways: First share the 10th grade samples which are shorter, quick to discuss, and show the attempts at specific language. Students will note that some are still stronger than others (these are noted with reasons). Make the point in the discussion that while adding specific details is elaboration, students always need to read over their work to see, “Does this make sense? Do my additions make it better? Is this effective?” Share the 7th grade sample second. This is one longer paragraph that shows elaboration strategies. Example - For example, I like the spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, the pepperoni pizza, the cheese burgers with fries, the burritos with sour cream, and last but not least, the cheesy nachos with melted cheese sauce smothered over the hot crispy chips. Anecdote - I remember one time when I ate in the CCMS Cafeteria for the first time and ate the best cheesy nachos I had eaten in a long time. I was a little messy with the hot, spicy nacho cheese all over my face and hands when I was finished. I guess I got a little carried away with the spicy nacho cheese. I had to scrub my face and hands really well before I left the cafeteria and went to the next class. Specific details - Chief Chinook Middle School Cafeteria…spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, the pepperoni pizza, the cheese burgers with fries, the burritos with sour cream…hot, spicy nacho cheese… (While these are a list, they provide specificity and description.) Lesson 5

20 Be specific. Your word choices do not have to be
Big words Fancy words Words from a thesaurus Remember, to elaborate powerfully and effectively, you need to be SPECIFIC. Use concrete, specific details. Lesson 5

21 Work with a partner. Find the specific, concrete details in the student sample, Locker. Highlight these specific details. You may want to make copies of the Locker paragraph for students to use actual highlighters. The 7th grade student sample is in the Document Folder. Some of the highlighted words might include Chief Chinook Middle School Mrs. McFreel locker number 227 right-left-right- Mr. Rios special locker key 272 3 days of practice See student sample - Locker Lesson 5

22 Your Turn Add specific, concrete details to make the
following paragraph effective. Besides helping to forget the problems life throws at us for a while, acting is a fun learning experience. You get to pose as characters much different from yourself and for a short period of time, get to walk in someone else’s shoes. You can be famous or live in a foreign country. With acting you can be whatever you like. See student sample - Grade 10 Drama See - Elaboration Scoring Guide Student samples are in the Document Folder. There you will find this paragraph written before (pre) elaboration instruction and a paragraph written after (post) elaboration instruction. These were scored using the Elaboration Scoring Guide found in the Document Folder. You will want to discuss the differences in the two paragraphs using the Elaboration Scoring Guide. You may also have students use the Scoring Guide to score their own revisions. Lesson 5


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