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Oh, the Learning in One Well-Chosen Sentence

51 Most Beautiful Sentences -- Buzzfeed

First, we read like readers. We talk about meaning. We talk about the story if any students have read the book. Many have. The Perks of Being a Wallflower never stays on the shelf for long.

I see several students flip to the back of their writer’s notebooks and write the title on their To Read Next lists.

Next, we read like writers. “The writer does a few things interesting in this sentence. What do you notice?” I ask.

We talk about starting a sentence with and, which leads to a discussion about sentence structure. We talk about the word infinite, which leads to a discussion about the word moment.

“What? That’s a contradiction,” someone says.

“Uh huh,” I nod and listen as little conversations bubble up around the room.

Then, from the back, a student says, “Do you see the three we’s in that sentence? Do you?”

I cannot help but grin.

You see it, don’t you?

Oh, sentences. Lovely sentences. Oh, the learning in one well-chosen sentence.

I cannot even imagine how much I would have learned TALKING about sentences all those years ago instead of diagramming them.

Do you have a favorite sentence you like to talk about with your students?

This Buzzfeed article has 51 Beautiful Sentences. I mention this piece in my post tomorrow, too. And if you haven’t visited Notable Sentences for Imitation and Creation, you’ll want to find some time to read it.

 

©Amy Rasmussen, 2011 – 2015

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3 thoughts on “Oh, the Learning in One Well-Chosen Sentence

  1. […] plop into their mind maps. I needed to provide more guidance in annotating, and in reading for beautiful sentences, and in making thematic connections, and so much […]

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  2. jackiecatcher April 1, 2015 at 8:34 am Reply

    What an amazing moment! I love how captured the sheer brilliance of the reader’s-writer’s workshop. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jackie March 31, 2015 at 6:51 am Reply

    My favorite texts at the sentence-level that I teach are probably Catcher in the Rye and One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I chose a book to add to my 9th grade curriculum next year specifically because it features some personal essays that will be great mentor texts, including at the sentence level! I loved how I could really hear your students in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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