This summer I'll be participating in the Longleaf Writing Project, our local site for the National Writing Project. Orientation for the summer program was last weekend, and one of the teacher leaders modeled a workshop on improving sentence structure using the five brushstrokes discussed in Harry Noden's Image Grammar. The five brushstrokes are as follows:
Painting with participles
Painting with absolutes
Painting with appositives
Painting with adjectives shifted out of order
Painting with action verbs
My students, like many others, are highly visual learners, and a number of them are pretty talented artists, so I thought I'd try out a paperless version of this activity. Here's the plan (pdf) for the two-day lesson.
I did this with post-exam AP Language students, and the "all brushstrokes at once" strategy worked nicely as a review of many things they've discussed before. When I plan lessons to attack the same skills with my ninth or tenth grade English students in the fall, however, I'll break it down into much smaller chunks, focusing on one brushstroke at a time.