The following notes come from a student
practice session on writing improvement. Includes samples of student
writing and teacher comments (in italics).
white, quiet, slippery, cold, playtime, snowman
winter, beautiful, ski, Seymour Mountain, Whistler, downhill, cross country, snowboarding, tubing, tobogganing
soft, icy, dangerous, tricky
ice, slush, melt, freezing, accidents, snow shovel, shovel
salt, sand, cancelled appointments, school closures (snow days)
Sounds: crunch, squeak, no sound, muffled, children’s voices
scarf, gloves, toque, earmuffs, snow pants, umbrella (only in
Vancouver), snow boots, sunglasses, mittens, long underwear
was the first snow in my life. I felt very excited when I opened the
door. Everywhere was covered by thick snow and still it kept snowing
outside. (8 words, 9 words, 12 words)
like the beginning sentence and so I am ready for an interesting piece.
The first two sentences are nearly the same length. We moved the word
“still” in front of “it” for emphasis in the third, longer sentence.
is a kind of music. The words have a length and sounds and the
sentences also. If you make things sound too much the same, you will be
boring. Does anyone here like a bore?
flakes as soft as cotton flow up and down in the sky during a
snowstorm. Although it is beautiful and white all over our surrounding
area, it really creates a lot of difficulty for most people on the
street. (16 words, 24 words)
is a sentence too long for a reader? The time it takes a reader to read
a long sentence means that you are asking for or taking up some of
their precious life. If you will take it, what are you giving me?
snowstorm last Wednesday is still making me thrilled. I woke up in the
morning and opened my curtain. What a beautiful white world ran into my
eyes! I could feel it was quite cold outside; however, I liked it.
The first sentence grabs my attention. Good. The next sentence is action and action is something most people like to hear about.
words “quite cold” are alliteration. The “k” sound is repeated. The
semicolon before “however” is a stronger stop than “,but” and forces
the reader to slow down.
On the day it began snowing, I woke up in the
night, not from any noise, but because it was suddenly quiet. Lying
there I knew it was snowing, though I did not push the curtains aside
to see for sure. In the morning, my wife decided she would attempt the
icy, treacherous drive to her work in Burnaby. About one hour later, I
called her office. No answer! To my relief, she arrived a few minutes
after, but told me, “It was crazy out there this morning!” My dog, with
her long black hair, wore a coat of snow that day. She took great
delight in pushing her face into snow banks, making for herself a snow
“goatee.” By afternoon, the snow was deep enough to shovel. Out I went
to make the sidewalks clear for those passing in front of my house. I
enjoyed seeing my breath hanging in the air and the chill that made my
nose tingle. The snow was cold this time and squeaked under my boots as
I shoveled out my driveway. . .