Teaching kids about how adding details to writing will make better stories can drastically improve the quality of their writing. If you’re like me you want to scream when you read stories and papers and get sentences like:
“The dog sat.”
“I wore a hat.”
“The cat was soft.”
Yawn. Boring, same old sentences. Boring, same old stories.
I decided to teach my kids to write sentences you can really sink your teeth into – juicy sentences. Writing with description is an important and practiced skill, not just one that naturally comes to kids with time. We began with a juicy sentences basic formula. If you want the juicy sentences worksheet, just click on it.
I began by holding this page up so they could see it, and filling in just three of the boxes. In the article box I wrote “The,” in the noun box I wrote “dog,” and in the verb box I wrote “ran.” I had them close their eyes and picture the dog exactly as they saw it. Then I had them describe the picture in their mind. My son saw a large, honey-colored dog with a blue collar running through the park near our house. My daughter pictured a tiny white toy poodle with a pink collar running through a shopping mall. We talked about how one vague sentence could lead us to two very opposite pictures. As writers it’s our job to paint a picture for our readers.
Next, I asked them to shout out suggestions for filling in the other boxes on our worksheet. Here was our final sentence:
The fuzzy, blue dog ran sideways through the forest in my dream last night.
Wow! That’s a far cry from “The dog ran.”
We went on to talk about how not every sentence needs to be in this exact format to be juicy, but you think about adding the same kinds of details in a variety of orders and ways. Then each of my kids wrote ten of the most creative sentences they’ve ever written.
Now if I start to notice some boring sentences in their writing, I can just remind them to make it juicy.
More From Layers of Learning
If you like Juicy Sentences, try out these other fun writing lessons from our Writer’s Workshop:
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