Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Right Word

By Rebecca Talley

Last week I gave a school presentation. I read my book Grasshopper Pie while wearing an antenna headband and a little grasshopper puppet on my finger. The kids enjoyed the story as well as the actual events that inspired the story when my kids almost fed me a live grasshopper.

I then spoke to them about writing and keeping a writing journal. We also talked about choosing the right word to accurately describe the events going on in their heads.

I used the following examples:

Annie walked into the room after recess.
Annie stomped into the room after recess.
Annie shuffled into the room after recess.
Annie skipped into the room after recess.

We all agreed that walked didn't seem to communicate much. Stomped showed that something had happened at recess that made Annie mad. Shuffled seemed to indicate that Annie was sad about something, while skipped communicated that Annie was happy. Just one word made a huge difference in what the sentence communicated and that one word showed something different each time.

As we write, we need to search for the right word to communicate exactly what we're seeking to express because one word can make a big difference.

4 comments:

Marcia Mickelson said...

Those are great examples. What a great way to teach those kids about writing. I'm sure they got it with your example.

Doug Johnston said...

I read your post and was amazed.
I read your post and was pleased.
I read your post and smiled.
I read your post and thought, brilliant.

Rebecca Talley said...

Thanks :)

Terri Ferran said...

Great post! I thought of the "one word" that makes such a difference in life & saw it in your reply, Rebecca. That one word is "Thanks!)