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Lesson Plan

Show-Me Sentences

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Show-Me Sentences

Grades 6 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time 50 minutes (or a series of minilessons)
Lesson Author

Lawrence Baines, Ph.D.

Normal, Oklahoma


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



When teaching a lesson on descriptive writing, students may write descriptively in the moment, but once the lesson is over, they tend to revert to their former ways. This lesson helps students learn to apply effective writing techniques on their own over time without constant reminders from the teacher.

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close-up of partial Show Me Sentences Handout Show-Me Sentences Handout: This handout provides an example of a revised “show-me” sentence and six exercises for students to practice.

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Dyson, A. (2008). Playing with textual toys. In Flood, J., Heath, S.B., & Lapp, D. (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching literacy through the communicative and visual arts (Vol 2, pp. 461–470). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • While working with young children, Dyson finds that an attitude of playfulness and sense of fun helps students gain mastery over aspects of their writing. The same principle applies to adolescents and young adults.

  • External stimuli prompt students to construct their own sentences and stories.


Smith, C.H. (2010). “Diving in deeper”: Bringing basic writers’ thinking to the surface. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(8), 668–676.

  • When students have opportunities to revise, to observe, and to participate in peers’ revisions, they learn metacognitive strategies that transfer to their own writing.


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