Show not tell writing activity for kids

A few years back, I wrote a blog post describing a successful writing lesson I co-taught with third grade teachers to introduce the concept of "Show, Don't Tell" to our students.

Of course, you can use these FREE printables any way you want, but here's my vision for how I would use them in an upper elementary classroom. Assessment Review how students have used and applied the strategy to their writing pieces.

Thanks for stopping by today! To start the lesson, I would distribute the Bingo cards, and ask students to scan the statements on their cards and discuss with their partner whether the statements are telling sentences or showing sentences.

Students will be able to show details, instead of telling them, in their writing. After an appropriate amount of time, I would ask volunteers to raise their hand if they think they found the matching telling sentence on their card.

Once a student answers correctly, or a few students made guesses, explain that the writer helps paint this picture with descriptive words, that show readers what is happening, instead of telling them.

show not tell writing activity for kids

Some possible words include: happy: my mouth widened with a smile; I jumped up and down. To prepare this activity, before class you need to print the Bingo cards and calling cards, and gather markers of some sort. I wanted to highlight showing sentences written by published authors, so I combed through several upper elementary chapter books The Tiger Rising by Kate diCamillo, The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Loot by Jude Watson, and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage to name a few and copied down a handful of sentences that I felt were stellar examples of showing sentences.

Furthermore, to make it just a bit more exciting, I've turned it into a Bingo game!

show don t tell poem examples

Pens or pencils for each student Interactive white board and projector Access to the Internet Short video clips with examples of people displaying intense emotions.

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Show, Don't Tell: A FREE Writing Lesson