I like using Harvey S. Wiener's idea from Any Child Can Write (68-69) to help young or reluctant writers transform a simple sentence. 

Begin with a simple sentence. In his example, Wiener uses "A child played."

Describe the Child: A child with brown eyes played.

Tell When: A child with brown eyes played one crisp winter morning.

Name a Sound: Giggling, a child with brown eyes played one crisp winter morning.

Tell Where: Giggling in front of his house, a child with brown eyes played one crisp winter morning.

Use Other Specific Words: Giggling in front of his house, a boy with brown eyes jumped up and down one crisp winter morning.

Once the student is happy with his improved sentence, ask him to rearrange it several times.

  • A boy with brown eyes jumped up and down one crisp winter morning, giggling in front of his house.
  • A boy with brown eyes, giggling in front of his house, jumped up and down one crisp winter morning.
  • Jumping up and down one crisp winter morning, a boy with brown eyes giggled in front of his house.
  • Giggling, a boy with brown eyes  jumped up and down in front of his house one crisp winter morning.
  • In front of his house, a giggling boy with brown eyes jumped up and down one crisp winter morning.

Possible discussion cues:
    Have the student rank his sentences from his most favorite one to his least favorite one.
    Notice how the punctuation changes from one sentence to another.
    Discuss what happens to the sentence when the subject is not mentioned immediately.

Other simple sentences from Wiener (69):
A man worked.
The book fell.
A tree moved.
The car drove away.
A cloud passed by.
A woman danced.
A girl ran.
The baby cried.
The radio played.
She pulled him.
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