Snapshots and Thoughtshots

***Due to the short day and the first hour intruder alert drill, some classes didn’t get to cover all of this.  I will fit it into lessons later this week.


These are two super-important terms that you won’t get in most English classes.

Snapshot–Paint a picture with your words, using the five senses – smell, hear, see, touch, taste. Snapshots are events.


A description of what the main character is thinking/feeling at a specific moment.

Thoughtshots = experiences

Students were given a handout that talks about these two terms in depth and gives examples.

Snapshot example:

“It was about six at night, and we were flying at about 40,000 feet in altitude.  As I looked through the window, I could see tiny snowflakes develop like bacteria.  Looking outside was truly amazing.  I could see the tip of the wing shine in front of the sun setting colors in the background.  As a transition of bright orange and ultramarine begin to form the black sky from above (or I should say space).  I saw the scattered cirrus clouds stretch, looking like the crust of chicken tenders.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the ant-like people and small buildings from below.”

Thoughtshot example:

“ ‘Geez, I really don’t want to be here,’ I think. ‘Anything would be better.’ The fact that subjects are boring and the windows show the playground, a sanctuary of joy, makes me want to run into it.  Other kids in higher grades look like they’re enjoying school. But why. Why would they be? Nothing special ever happens here. Looking to the ground with my hands to the wall. Wanting to go home, wishing the day was over. Then I realize something; the 1st grade is a jungle, a jungle I don’t want to be in.”

Students should be able to pick out snapshots and thoughtshots in a text.  We chose a song with scene, Tom’s Diner, and found them in the lyrics…(Not all classes will have time for this practice).

Students should be able to tell whether the following sentences are snapshots or thoughtshots…

Snapshot or thoughtshot practice quiz

1. Good riddance!  I was sick of that neighbor anyway.

2.  Why do I keep coming to this McDonald’s?  They always mess my order up.

3.  The sweat dripped down his temples and into his ears causing them to tingle.

4.  The memories were bitter as she recalled the breakup.

5.  The golf ball landed on the green and stuck as if the surface was made of glue.

6.  Who hit me in the head?

7.  The engine roared and the car approached ninety miles per hour.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s