Exploding the Moment Activity

Class Goals:
• Students will learn how to effectively “show” details and their impact on creating pictures in the reader’s mind  by using the exploding the moment technique
• Students will revise by adding “showing” details in their own writing drafts by using a combination of high and low levels of abstraction and by exploding the moment.

Class activities:
1. Introduce exploding the moment.

2. Play exploding the moment video and discuss. Play the first 2:37 of the video.

3. Whole group activity.

a. guide the class through an example of exploding the moment

  • BEFORE: (1)I woke up late this morning- as usual. (2) I had no clean clothes and the fridge was next to bare. (3) Traffic was heavy as I sped to work. (4) Some Jerk cut me off and I almost had a wreck. (5) At work I went to my desk and there was a note to go and see the boss. (6) I waited outside her office for a while before she called me in. (7) I couldn’t figure why she wanted to see me. (8) I went inside and sat down. (9) My boss handed me an envelope. (10) She told me that my services were no longer needed and that i was free to go. (11) I got my belongings from my desk and left. The drive home was quick. (12) I am now unemployed.
  • AFTER: Some jerk cut me off and I almost had a wreck. I hate people who can’t drive. I decided to teach him a lesson by playing near bumper cars with his bright red 300 ZX.He kept hitting his brakes, and eventually even shook a fist of rage at me. I giggled gleefully- kind of like the lady in Fried Green Tomatoes who got immense pleasure from repeatedly rear-ending the car of the person who had stolen her parking space. Space is crucial, and that jerk will probably think twice before he cuts into mine again. At work I went to my desk and there was a note to go and see the boss.

4. Individual or Group activity:

  • Either, have students as a group take another sentence in this paragraph and explode another moment, and them present their exploded moment to the class
  • Or,have each individual student bring a recent draft of their paper to class. Identify within their narrative a key moment that they would like to explode. Having identified the moment the remainder of the class can be used by each student to write an exploded moment directly related to their story.

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