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The Language of Literature, Grade 8
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Return to book index Unit 2 : Rising to the Challenge
Internal Monologue

I Stepped from Plank to Plank/ Child on Top of a Greenhouse
Internal Monologue (p. 300)

Pretend that you are the speaker of one of the poems. Visualize yourself stepping from plank to plank or climbing to the top of the greenhouse and record your thoughts into a tape recorder. Help your listeners picture the scene you are describing by using sensory details and precise words to create a vivid image. Keep these techniques in mind as you record your monologue:

  • Imagine with all five senses. Don't just talk about what you see. Think also of what you might hear, feel, taste or smell as you walk on a dock or stand atop a greenhouse.
  • Use transitions. Transitions are words that link ideas and connect details—"then" or "nearby" or "next to." They help listeners follow what you are saying. When sentences and paragraphs are linked, listeners can clearly "see" the scene.
  • Identify a mood. Before you begin you recording, analyze your feelings about what you picture yourself doing. Do you feel excited? Scared? Lonely? Then imagine details that reflect that mood. For example, what might you hear if you imagine yourself feeling lonely? Adding an emotional component to your description can give it more depth.

The following resources for writers on the Internet have information that may help you develop your description.

Writing Description handouts/ general/ gl_describe.html
The Purdue University Online Writing Lab provides this guide to descriptive writing.

Young Authors' Workshop: Writing Page ~bplaroch/ Write.html
The Young Author's Workshop covers all aspects of the writing process, from initial brainstorming to final revisions. Click through the links on the writing page—you'll find tips from published authors and places to connect with other student writers.