Once I ask my college students to place elaboration into their writing, I normally get extra lengthy, drawn-out particulars of what they did that day. , what we name in our instructor circles the “bed-to-bed” tales. However, that’s undoubtedly not what I keep in mind once I ask for elaboration! As an alternative, I would like college students to enter element about one particular thought. I wish to them to provide me the “who, what, when, the place, why, and the way” about one thought. I do know that by the point they get to 3rd grade, they’ve heard this earlier than (um, Widespread Core customary RL2.1?).
So, to jazz issues up a bit, I gave them coloured strips and a easy sentence – assume Jeff Anderson easy. The canine barked. Every phrase had its personal coloured strip, and so they needed to flip it into a series. It was a reasonably small chain.
However, I wished them to make use of some elaboration, so I requested what extra they may inform me about this. They considered it a minute, and I probed them somewhat…
“What sort of canine was it?“
This permits the chance for me to remind them to make use of these synonyms we’re at all times speaking about. We added one other coloured strip – added our adjective to explain the canine, reminiscent of “The puny canine barked,” after which we linked it in. (We did need to tear aside, add it in, then staple/glue once more.)
However, our sentence nonetheless appeared a bit small… Was I actually going to be happy with it? They knew the reply…after all not! “Let’s preserve going. What extra may you inform me?” I continued to probe…
“How did the puny canine bark?”
It was a terrific alternative to debate adverbs (or you can not), and we added one other strip. As we continued on with this elaboration train, we added increasingly more phrases, making our sentence (and chain) so long as we may, whereas nonetheless having our sentence make sense.
We mentioned that we wouldn’t wish to essentially do that with each sentence (are you able to think about studying these?!), however it did make the sentence far more attention-grabbing with the elaboration than with simply the straightforward noun and verb. It additionally helped the reader visualize the author’s phrases a bit extra.
After we have been executed, we have been additionally capable of grasp our chains as a visible reminder that we should at all times attempt to elaborate after we can – however solely elaborate sentences, not the size of a narrative.