Presentation on theme: "Introducing the Five Brushstrokes"— Presentation transcript:
1Introducing the Five Brushstrokes Adapted from Harry Noden’s Image Grammar
2About Me and My Classroom 9th and 10th Grade in a small charter schoolI used this lesson with a creative writing classNWEA MAP Data and Descartes statements make it so we have to use the technical terms for concepts in grammar, or the students will likely show no growth on their end of year tests.
3Image Grammar and Writing Genres Scenes and NarrativesPoetryCreative nonfiction, including personal essaysNoden has suggestions for research papers
4Rationale Good writers use grammar as a tool Complex grammatical concepts can be taught as tools for creativityBy studying the tools at their disposal, students can improve sentence fluency and variety while also increasing accuracy in their use of imagery
5Support from Research Image Grammar by Harry Noden “To paint images like these requires an understanding of image grammar—a rhetoric of writing techniques that provides writers with artistic grammatical options.” (Noden 2)Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson“One principle that undergirds my thinking about grammar and mechanics is that they are inherently linked to craft, and by making this link, we alter students’ perceptions of what grammar and mechanics do.” (Anderson 10)
6Support from Research Continued Looking to Write by Mary Ehrenworth“I believe that things happen in children’s writing when they write through the arts that do not, perhaps, happen through other ways of teaching writing. It can be an aesthetic experience, a way to engage the imagination in peculiarly empathetic ways.”(Ehrenworth 4)
7More on Visual Images and Writing “The writer is an artist, painting images of life with specific and identifiable brush strokes, images as realistic as Wyeth and as abstract as Picasso.” (Noden 1)Noden 29Image grammar allows students to understand what we mean when we say “Show, don’t tell” by providing specific tools to do this.
8The Problems with Adjectives “Certain types of adjectives paint scenes with image blanks…Adjectives like beautiful, as in “the beautiful mountains,” are formless, sending the reader an opinion instead of a visual image.” (Noden 33-34)Adjective Overload-Noden 34
9Core StandardsL.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.L b. Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well- structured event sequences.W d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
10Descartes Learning Statements Examples Identifies participial phrases in written compositionsIdentifies appositive phrases in written compositionsDefines participial phraseRecognizes appropriate use of active verbs
11Student ObjectivesStudents will be able to use participial phrases, absolutes, adjectives out of order, appositives, and active verbs in order to add variety and interest to their writing for the purpose of conveying vivid pictures of scenes and images.For a regular 43 minute lesson, I would only use one or two of these objectives.
12Why Five?“Although professionals use an array of complex structures, students can begin to learn the art of image grammar by employing five basic brushstrokes…” (Noden 4) This is just a beginning. For ideas on how to teach more grammar through the craft of writing, see Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson.
13The Five Basic Brushstrokes Painting with ParticiplesPainting with AbsolutesPainting with AppositivesPainting with Adjectives Out of OrderPainting with Action Verbs
14The Participle Brushstroke An –ing or –ed verb placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, connected with a commaIn a participle, the verb functions as an adjective
15Example:“Hissing, slithering, and coiling, the diamond- back snake attacked its prey.” (Noden 5)Image from:
16Using a Participial Phrase “Participial” phrase is a fancy term for a phrase that starts with a participle“Hissing its forked red tongue and coiling its cold body, the diamond-back snake attacked its prey.” (Noden 5)
17Analyzing the Technique “Hissing, slithering, and coiling, the diamond- back snake attacked its prey.” (Noden 5)“Hissing its forked red tongue and coiling its cold body, the diamond-back snake attacked its prey.” (Noden 5)What differences are there between the two forms of this brushstroke?
18Your TurnPlease write two sentences describing this picture: one that just uses participles and one that uses participial phrases.
19An Artist in Action Proof that I’m not making these techniques up: “Kat was shoved outside, stumbling into view, shading her eyes with her small shield against the summer glare.” –James Rollins, Bloodline, Page 344
20The Absolute Brushstroke A noun PLUS an –ing or –ed verb added to a sentence, connected with a comma or commas
21Example:“Claws digging, feet kicking, the cat climbed the tree.” (Noden 6)Image from:
22Analyzing the Technique “The cat climbed the tree.” (Noden 6)“Claws digging, feet kicking, the cat climbed the tree.” (Noden 6)What does this technique do to the writing? How does it change things for the reader?
23Your TurnExamine the image. Then, describe what you see using the Absolute Brushstroke.Photo from:
24An Artist in Action“And then I see her, the blood drained from her face, hands clenched in fists at her sides, walking with stiff, small steps up toward the stage, passing me, and I see the back of her blouse has become untucked and hangs out over her skirt.” –Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, Page 21-22
25The Appositive Brushstroke A noun that adds a second image to a noun that comes before itAppositives use nouns to modify/change other nouns
26Example“The raccoon, a scavenger, enjoys eating turtle eggs.” (Noden 8)
27The Appositive PhraseAn entire phrase containing an appositive that adds more details than the appositive all by itself“The raccoon, a midnight scavenger who roams lake shorelines in search of food, enjoys eating turtle eggs.” (Noden 8)
28Analyzing the Technique “The raccoon enjoys eating turtle eggs.” (Noden 8)“The raccoon, a scavenger, enjoys eating turtle eggs.” (Noden 8)“The raccoon, a midnight scavenger who roams lake shorelines in search of food, enjoys eating turtle eggs.” (Noden 8)How does the appositive brushstroke change the writing? What does it do for the reader?
29Your TurnUsing the image below, please write a sentence that uses the appositive brushstroke. If you’re up for the challenge, try one with an appositive phrase, too.Picture from:
30Abby’s AppositiveThe deer, an alert creature with eyes poised, stood at the edge of the fores.
31An Artist in Action“He felt burdened by the names of the marauder past, the names from which his name descended in cascades of human blood…” Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence, Page 33
32The Adjectives Out of Order Brushstroke When writers shift some of the adjectives attached to a noun to the end of the noun, instead of putting them at the beginning.
33Example“The large bull moose, red-eyed and angry, charged the intruder.” (Noden 10)Image from
34Analyzing the Technique “The large bull moose, red-eyed and angry, charged the intruder.” (Noden 10)“The large, red-eyed, angry bull moose charged the intruder.” (Noden 10)What happens when we put the adjectives all in a row? What changes when we move some to the end?
35Your TurnPlease write about this picture of a bear using some adjectives out of order.----- Meeting Notes (7/3/12 10:39) -----The brown bear, large and bulky, relaxed in the sun. Stomach grumbling, he shifted his bulk into motion and set off for the river to fish. The bear, a frightful predator, splashed into the water with deadly purpose.
36An Artist in Action“But what you remember most is this tree, huge, with fat arms and mighty families of squirrels in the higher branches. All around, the neighborhood of roofs, black-tarred and A- framed, and in their gutters, the balls that never came back down to earth.” –Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street, Page 22
37The Action Verbs Brushstroke Action verbs show the action of the sentence without helping verbsThey paint a motion picture rather than a still photograph
38Example Passive Voice (Being Verb as a Helper) “The grocery store was robbed by two armed men.” (Noden 11)Active Voice (Action Verb)“Two armed men robbed the grocery store.” (Noden 11)
39Help Me Make it Active“The runaway horse was ridden into town by an old, white-whiskered rancher.” (Noden 11)
40Other Cases Where Action Verbs Make A Difference Original Sentences:“The Nerk Knocker is a strange mechanical contraption. It brews coffee while beating a drum solo.” (Noden 12)Not in passive voice, but contains a “being” verb— “is”What can we do?
41The Brushstroke Assignment Find a picture in a magazine or on the Internet.Write a one- or two-paragraph description of the picture containing all five brush strokes—one of each type.Underline each brush stroke and identify it by drawing a line to a label in the margin.Do not use more than two brush strokes per sentence.Each correctly used brush stroke will be worth 10 points, as indicated in the attached rubric
42Rubric for Brushstroke Assignment Absolute: _____/10Appositive: _____/10Participle: _____/10Adjective Out of Order: ______/10Active Verbs: _____/10Total: ______/50
43Student Sample 1—LowThe baseball, a new Rawling baseball coming down the plate fast. Clutching the bat, the player getting ready to hit the ball. Rawling baseball gliding through the air. The catcher flexible and fast gets ready to catch the ball. Chicago baseball player tighteneds his hand around the bat to swing with power. Chicago baseball player swings his bat and makes contact with the ball. The ball flying fast with power through the air. GO’s out of the stadium a homerun.
44Student Sample 2—Medium Standing on the colorful sailed boat, looking down into the crisp clear water I spotted nothing in the shadows. So I decided to go for a swim. I jumped in and the water cooled my body. I went down about 100 ft and saw a marvelous undersea life! It filled my body with a run of excitement and nerviness’s as I thought about the dangers of bring down here. Then out of the blue, all the fish started squirming and out comes a crystal blue Great White!The Shark, the Great White, stared at me with a feeding frenzy look on his face. The long shark, buffed and ready started after me! So I jumped up and jolted to be boat. So I hopped into my boat as the shark is gliding after me. As soon I touched my feet onto the boat’s rough floor, I felt safe and the shark went away.
45Student Sample 3—Medium-High Hunching, watching, and listening the lion waits to pounce on its prey. Then she sees it, a baby deer in the tall grasses and, she pounces, jumping and roaring. Her claws, sharp and long digs deeply into the young deer’s skin. The deer, wounded and surprised, fell to the ground as the lion fell on top of him. The lion let out a mighty roar to let her cubs know that she had dinner. Paws padding the cubs made their way over to their mother for dinner.
46Student Sample 4—HighFlying, the car whistled through the thick air smokey and grey. Flaming fires were ravaging the base, the smoke reaching to the clouds. The car, a new war machine is bursting through the air at one hundred miles per hour.
47Adjusting it for Different Grade Levels Pick out the grammar concepts your students needFind examples of them being used as part of the craft of writingFind pictures that can inspire writing, especially ones that your students can relate toThe process of studying grammar and mechanics as part of the craft of writing can be applied to just about anything.
48Revisiting the Brushstrokes Later A gallery tourOnce students have a firm grasp on the brushstrokes, try sending them to the computer lab (or taking a field trip to an art museum) to find paintings they can write about.I had my students do this with poetry in the 3rd quarter after learning the brush strokes in 1st quarter with great resultsRevision BingoMake a bingo sheet for revision. Students have to score a bingo before they’re done revising. Include the brushstrokes as revision options.
49Complete Works CitedAnderson, Jeff. Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse, Print. Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage, Print. Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, Print. Ehrenworth, Mary. Looking to Write: Students Writing through the Visual Arts. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, Print. Noden, Harry R. Image Grammar: Teaching Grammar as Part of the Writing Process. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, Print. Rollins, James. Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel. New York: William Morrow, Print. Rushdie, Salman. The Enchantress of Florence: A Novel. New York: Random House, Print.