In my previous two posts, I wrote about hands and how hand writing is a great way to describe a person without making it sound like a list. Another effective way to describe a person or character is to write about their hair. In Sandra Cisneros book, The House on Mango Street, the chapter titled, Hairs, is a perfect mentor text.
With students, I sometimes introduce hair writing as a quickwrite even before I bring them to the gathering area to show them mentor texts. I like to enlarge text samples to poster-size and hang them side-by-side so we can quickly compare and contrast the different pieces. Again, I love to use Barry Lane's line, "What sticks with you?" It helps kids to quickly zero in on craft. Below is my most recent attempt at hair writing.
Sam’s hair was everywhere. Long blond strands that stuck to furniture, carpets, and sweaters. I was forever finding hairs on my fleece pull-overs. As I removed each pale thread, I liked knowing that a piece of her had stuck to me. Her shower drain was disgusting. About every two months, I had to remove the stopper and dig out all the yellow hairy muck and pour in Liquid Plummer. I tried using a cover to catch all the hairs but it only helped a little. I haven’t had to clean that drain since she left for college.