LESSON 2.7
The Troublemaker

Now let’s deal with the right hand side of our What Statement box:

Introducing the Troublemaker

To begin your adventure with the troublemaker, just say “Then one day …” and finish the sentence.  For example:

Then one day I met a talking dog.

Then one day I fell into a pit of spiders wearing sixguns.

Then one day I won an alien pumpkin at the state fair.

Task 2.7.1 – Small Group

Enter the simple first sentence into the RH column of your What/Why Chart.

What Statement

Why Statement

 

LH

VP

RH

because

Why

 

Main Character

Verb Phrase

Troublemaker

because

Problem

 

I

had a problem with

a talking dog

 

 

1st sentence

 

I loved Jackson, my golden retriever. 

 

 Then one day I (verb) a troublemaker

 

 

Location

Readers are not mind-readers. You need to show what you mean. Where were you – exactly? If you are on the corner near the school, what building is nearby? What does it look like? Don’t just say old or run-down

Task 2.7.2 – Small Group

As a group, decide on the following:

  • Where did you meet the troublemaker?
  • Where exactly?
  • What was the weather like?
  • What were the surroundings like?
  • Were there trees? What kind?
  • What does the troublemaker look like – exactly? If he is a dog, for instance, is he big? How big is he? What kind of dog is he? What color is his fur – exactly?
  • What did he/she/it say to you?
  • What did you say?
  • What kind of emotional feeling did you have?

Have someone write down the answers as you and your group ask and answer questions. Don’t try to put them in order.

The result will look like a grocery list.

It will look like a grocery list.  It won’t be in any order. Don’t worry about that.

Sensory Details

Pretend you are using a camera that records all the senses. Remember, you don’t have to be eating to taste something. You can taste dust, salt in the air if you’re near the ocean, even your own fear.

Be precise when listing sensory details. Avoid using general words such as amazing, beautiful, ugly, astounding, fantastic. Those mean nothing to an audience.

What else is in the scene?

  • What types of plants and animals are nearby? If, for instance, there are birds, then what type of birds are they?
  • What is the name of the nearest building? What does it look like?
  • Exactly what is the weather like? Saying sunny does not help readers see it. How does the weather make you feel?
  • If you are eating cereal, for example, what is its name? What does it tell us about you if you’re eating Count Chocula rather than raisin bran?

Task 2.7.3 – Small Group

Add sensory details to the list.

Add Emotions

What exactly did you feel emotionally?

Be realistic as possible when describing emotions. If a dog talked to you in real life, would you just start answering? Wouldn’t you think that you’ve been pranked or else are going crazy? 

Dialogue

What did you and the troublemaker say to one another? Is that what you would say in real life?

Pretend you meet the troublemaker.  What did it say?  What did you say?

Task 4.7.4 – Small Group

Role-play with other members of your class or family about meeting the troublemaker.

Task 4.7.5

Look through the grocery list.  Use numbers.

Don’t erase if something is out of order.  Instead, use numbers or letters.  For example:

            Info 3                                                  Info 3

            Info 4                                                  Info 4

            Info 3.5                                               Info 3a

Example

 

 

Meeting the Troublemaker 

1

Then one day I met a talking dog.

3

Near school – corner of 3rd and Alder

2

Summerville, Alaska

4

Edge of woods

5

Spruces, evergreens

2a

Fishing community

3a

Hardware store

6

Shar-pei

7

Rumpled as a rug

8

Size of a breadbox

6a

Sitting by street sign

9

Scratching ear with back foot

10

Gray with white spots

11

Spots looked like splotches. Like someone spilled White Out

12

“Hey good looking.”

13

Thought I was going crazy. Or pranked.

14

“Down here, stupid.”

15

Ventriloquist somewhere?

16

Collar studded with fake diamonds

17

“Quit staring at my collar!”

18

“You can’t talk, you’re a dog!”

19

“And you can’t think. You’re a blond.”

20

My stomach growled.

21

The shar-pei growled.

1a

Drizzling.

3b

Water dripped off the roof.

2b

Air smelled like fish.

2c

Salt smell in the air.