Opening of Speak; Showing Not Telling

7 Oct

Skill: Showing Not Telling

Skill: Showing not Telling- instead of telling us something, show us! If you do a good enough job showing, then you don’t have to tell.


Telling: Roger is mean.

Showing: Roger tripped me in the hallway. At lunch, in between harassing freshmen, he was throwing french fries at our table.

Telling: The girls were excited.

Showing: Giggles and screams filled the arena. The soft curls were now damp with perspiration and the anticipation of the event. They held tight to each other in a mock effort to contain themselves. Arms flailed upward, and voices echoed in varying tones. The moment was here.

Telling: The room was vacant.

Showing: The door opened with a resounding echo that seemed to fill the house. Cob webs once attached flowed freely in the air as the open door brought light to a well worn floor. The light gave notice to the peeling paint on the walls and to the silhouettes once covered by pictures. The new air gave life to a stuffiness that entrapped the room. Faded and torn white sheets covered once new furniture now drowning in dust.

More in depth discussion Hereherehere, and here,

Exercise: In 3-5 sentences in your notebook, show any one of the following situations:

  • School is weird this year.
  • I feel nervous.
  • Ellen is angry with me.

Opening of Speak

What do you make of the title of the novel?

We will read the first page and evaluate it as if it were a memoir. Notice her use of many of the skills we have discuss (sensory imageryshowing not tellingusing specific detailsparagraphing, and effective lead).

Exercise: In your notebook, What conclusions can we make about our narrator (Melinda) based on what she is showing us?

%d bloggers like this: