Tutor Training Activity: Imagery Tutors: As you've noticed, many of our students are asking us to help them with "show not tell." Teachers are emphasizing the use of descriptive language. In order to be better prepared for working with these students, it is important for us to review the concept and practice our skills. The activity below may be done on your own OR with other tutors. If you make it a group project, please be sure to include all names on the response sheet.

As part of your tutor training, complete the tasks listed below. Your work for tasks 1-4 may be handwritten or word-processed. When you are finished, email your responses to jljordan@glenbrook.k12.il.us or place your work in the folder on the desk in The Write Place office. If you have questions, please see Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Langer, Ms. Scholz or Mr. Timmer.

Task 1

Ø Take a copy of the essay “Countdown” by Jonathan Franzen from the folder on the desk in The Write Place office. (or click on this link) "Countdown" by Jonathan Franzen
Ø Before reading the essay, write brief (2-3 sentences) responses to the questions below. Write your responses on loose-leaf paper (or word-process).
1. In your own words, define imagery as a literary term.
2. Identify as many different types of imagery as you can.
3. How do writers use imagery to enhance their writing?
Task 2: Reading
Ø Read the essay “Countdown” by Jonathan Franzen.
Ø Once you’ve read the essay through once, reread it actively. Mark and label as many different examples of imagery as you can find.
Ø In the space below the end of the essay, explain the metaphor which Franzen develops in the last three paragraphs of the essay. Is it effective? What does it accomplish?
Task 4: Analysis
Ø Read the entry for imagery from The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms.
imagery: A term used to refer to: (1) the actual language that a writer uses to convey a visual picture (or, most critics would add, to create or represent any sensory experience); and (2) the use of figures of speech, often to express abstract ideas in a vivid and innovative way. Imagery of this second type makes use of such devices as metaphor, simile, and personification, among many others.
Imagery is a central component of almost all imaginative literature and is often said to be the chief element in poetry. Two major types of imagery exist—the literal and the figurative. Literal imagery is purely descriptive, representing an object or event with words that draw on or appeal to the kind of experiences gained through the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell). Figurative imagery may call to mind real things that can be perceived by the senses, but it does so as a way of describing something else—often some abstract idea that cannot be literally or directly described (for example, Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”). Whether literal or figurative, however, imagery is generally intended to make whatever the author is describing concrete in the reader’s mind, to give it some tangible and real existence rather than a purely intellectual one. Imagery also provides the reader with a sense of vividness and immediacy.


Ø On the same sheet of loose-leaf (or word-processed) that you used for Task 1, create a list of at least five (5) literal images that stand out to you in the essay “Countdown.” Label this list “Literal Imagery.”
Ø Beneath your list of literal images, create a second list. Label this list “Figurative Imagery.” List at least five (5) figurative images that stand out to you in the essay. Label each image with the figure of speech that it represents: simile, metaphor or personification.
Ø Review the lists of images that you created. What feelings do the images evoke? How do they contribute to the general atmosphere of the essay? Write a thoughtful response to these questions. Refer to 3-5 specific images. You may handwrite your response (on the same sheet of loose-leaf), or you may word process it. Aim for ½ page.

Task 5: Writing
Ø Write a one-page description of The Write Place from your unique point of view. Use imagery. At the heart of your description should be a single, extended metaphor. Be creative!
Ø Your work should be word-processed. When you are finished, place it in the folder on the desk in The Write Place Office or email it to jljordan@glenbrook.k12.il.us. Make sure your name is on it. (Do NOT staple it to your other work.)