BaDa Bing! Narrative WritingWhen you run out of things to say Help readers see things through your eyes
Don’t fugedabodit… • Ba-Da-Bing is believed to be an Italian American phrase used to describe something as happening easily, quickly and smoothly. • Like 1,2,3 … quick and clean … it’s done • When you want to supplement skimpy writing, add a Ba-Da-Bing.
Problem: Writer can see it; reader can’t • Solution: Ba-Da-Bing! • The Point: Sometimes writers need help making their moments translate to the same kinds of moments for their readers. This sentence-imitating exercise is easy and produces rich results for the reader.
A Ba-Da-Bing answers these questions about an event: • Where were you? What physically were you doing? • What, exactly, were you seeing? • What words went through your head as it was happening?
How Does It Work? • Draw the following three icons: foot, eye, and thought bubble. • Find an important moment in your memory piece, and I’ll show you a trick. Write a sentence with these three parts: • Where your feet went , • what you saw , • and what you thought . • Here’s an example: When I went (point to the feet) into the kitchen, I saw (point to the eye) my mom at the stove, stirring a pot. Mmmm, I thought. Chili! Now you try
Student Samples “I walked into the kitchen and saw my mother holding a skateboard, and I thought, ‘Hey! Is that for me?’”—Torrey, 2nd grade. “When I stepped out onto the stage, I couldn’t see the audience because the lights were in my eyes. What was I so afraid of? I thought. This is fun.” —Matilde, 6th grade.
When you know you need to write more, think BA and add where you were, think DA and tell what you saw, think BING and write what you thought about it all. • You can use your Ba-Da-Bing to give the writing more depth. • It will help your readers see through your eyes so that they can relive a moment that you experienced.
Before Ba-Da-Bing • When my mom and I pulled up at school, I saw some students dressed in white and khaki.
After Ba-Da-Bing • When my mom and I stepped out of our car and onto the school parking lot, I saw students walking around in identical white shirts and the same khaki pants. I thought, “Oh, great. Uniforms are the last thing I want to wear.”
Student-Produced Ba-Da-Bings • Who Am I Ba-da-bings from Fairy Tales • When I strolled over the hill and glimpsed the straw house by the creek, my stomach growled. This will be easy to blow down! (Tyler M.) • As I dragged myself to the top of the beanstalk, I peeked over the top of the beanstalk and gazed upon a huge castle and wondered who lived in there. (Anthony C.)
More from Students • Who Am I Ba-da-bings from To Kill a Mockingbird • As I was sitting there, I heard Francis call Atticus a “nigger-lover” and I thought I have to teach him a lesson! (Candice S.) • When I walked towards Tim Johnson, I saw him lying there in a puddle of blood and thought, “Dude. I have to clean that up.” (Brandon M.)