Thursday, February 26, 2009

Exquisite Text vs. Boring Text (Critical Thinking)

Show --- Don't Tell!




Read an elaborate piece of text to your students to see if they can form vivid pictures in their minds. Then, have students simplify the text. What is the author trying to say?


  • In the deepest, darkest part of night, when the crickets and tree frogs are almost silent, shadowy shapes emerge from the ponderosa pine ridge and tiptoe down to the glassy Cheyenne River below. Their long tangled manes and tails ruffle in the night breeze. Ever alert and watchful for predators, they swiftly drink their fill. Then they turn on their heels and lunge up the rocky hills to safety.


  • Horses walk to the river for a drink at night and try to avoid predators.

If the author had simply written the simple sentence, would it have sold books?


Text: Peterson, C. (2003) Wild Horses: Black Hills Sanctuary

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