Innovative and Smart learning techniques to develop new ideas

Innovative and Smart learning techniques to develop new ideas

Looking for innovative or smart learning techniques to grab good grades? Then you are at the right spot. In this blog, we’ve provided few clever learning techniques for you. Implement these techniques into your learning process and enhance your life brighter.

We know you are burdened by too many home tasks, assignments, and tests now and then. You are not the only one who finds 24 hours less to manage your studies and the daily routine. Relax! You are not alone. Many students are in the same position as you.

Did you know? Twenty-four hours is good enough to manage your learning along with your personal life. All you need to do is, follow the below techniques.

Innovative and Smart Learning Techniques:

1. Meditate every morning

innovative and smart learning techniques

Meditating in the early morning will improve concentration and refresh your brain. This will enable you with better learning skills. Alongside, it will reduce your anxiety and make you feel relaxed.

2. Don’t Stuff

Dont Stuff 1

The first thing that you should do is, say goodbye to stuffing. The habit of stuffing the content in your mind will jam at some point. Instead, make a proper schedule and stick to it accordingly. If you are learning the night before your exam, then instead of stuffing, try to revise.

While learning, take a short break for around 10 to 15 minutes every one hour. This will lead you to focus on your studies and relieve yourself from stress.

3. Review

innovative and smart learning techniques

Before you begin with the new topic, always review the  topics that you’ve learned before. This will help you to remember the concepts.

4. Revise before bedtime

read before bedtime

Research has stated that sleeping will boost a person’s brainpower. Hence, before going to bed, revise the topics that you’ve covered while learning. This will significantly benefit you by improving your memory power and intense your recall ability.

5. Take a good nap

good sleep

A sound sleep is a proven existence that helps maintain a healthier life, both mentally and physically. On that note, you’d know that an uncomfortable night’s sleep can make you feel unrefreshed the whole next day.

Further, If you don’t have enough sleep, your mind will not hold much data for a longer time. Hence, a person should sleep at least seven hours to allow the brain to rest and promotes creativity.

6. Learn smaller portion

learn smaller portions

Whenever you learn a lengthy topic, you don’t need to absorb all the details at once. Split the issues into smaller sessions and learn. Once you’ve gone through it, move on to the next session. Learning in this way will be more convenient to remember the subjects.

7. Take Notes

Take Notes

Practical notes enable you to master your syllabus.

While learning, make a habit of note-taking. This will lead you to focus better by organizing information with a simple structure.

8. Try Visual learning

visual learning

Want to study in a short time? Try visual learning. Visual learning will improve your concentration power and memory retention. Also, it increases the thinking skill and enables you to learn better.

9. Study out louder

Read louder

Instead of stuffing, learning loudly is one of the useful smart learning tricks. In a study, it is stated that studying aloud will help you memorize what you’re pronouncing.

10. Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead 1

Studying at the last moment can stress you out. Hence, write down your study goals for the upcoming day every night. This won’t let you run out of time. Also, you can understand every concept clearly.

11. Set your goal

set goal

One of the crucial techniques to learn more brilliant is: setting the right goals that are not on the overboard.

12. Drink enough amount of Water

drink water

Research states that drinking Water while learning will improve your focus and boost your mental health by increasing your blood’s oxygen supply. By drinking Water while learning will improve memory and balance your mood.

13. Study with your friends

study in a group

Try to study in a group once a week. This may benefit you with a better understanding of topics by discussing with friends.

14. Test Your ability

test your ability

Once you’ve revised the topics, practice tests, puzzle yourself after completing each issue. This will help you to map your learning progress.

15. Don’t rush

dont rush while reading

Always don’t rush yourself beyond your limits. Try to achieve your practical goals little by little peacefully. Everyone has a different learning style and pace. Hence, don’t force yourself.

Final Words

Now that you know what are the innovative learning techniques to enhance your education in a better way. Remember to practice these techniques while learning in your life. Implement these techniques one or two at a time. Once you’re comfortable with it, try other methods. This will gradually lead you as a competent learner in this educative world.

So, Why still waiting. Go on and grab your grade by learning smarter! We wish you the best!

Reading strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities

Reading strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities refer to a group of disorders. These disorders stop us from learning, reading, or writing better in our daily life. A learning disability does not mean that they can’t learn. A student with this disability has average intelligence. Students who have a reading disability will need direct teaching methods. Since they know a bit differently, the teachers can straightforwardly teach them.

Students with reading disabilities have the potential to be successful. Most students with reading disabilities improve through strategic reading, writing, and viewing. Provided they get help from the teachers the right way. Teachers, when intervened early, can offer intensive support to the students. Despite these efforts, many struggle to read.  They have difficulty reading unfamiliar and challenging words. Students cannot connect ideas and decode words.

Proficient Reading skills are essential for students to succeed. If students are not competent readers, they may be at risk. There are different types of learning disabilities. Today, we are here to address reading disabilities. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein are all thought to have had a Learning disability.

Let’s start by looking at what the research says about reading strategies:

What is Reading Strategies?

The Ultimate goal of reading is to extract meaning from what you read. The older students with Learning disabilities need increasing instructional responses. So, when the students read, they have a lot going around in their heads. They use the power of sounds/symbols relationship in phonics to decode the words they don’t know.

In the case of a young student reading- they decode many or most words in the text as they build their vocabulary. They begin to rely less and less on sounding words. As their language grows, so does fluency. Fluency is nothing but the accuracy of reading the text steadily with an accurate tone.

Finally, the student understands what they read or comprehend. There are different comprehension strategies we use to know what we are reading. We make new images in our minds, connect to the text or use reasoning. The following are some ways we can help students with Learning disabilities.

Let us start with the basic:

Decoding Words and Letters:

Communication is a result of sentences that we use every day. Sentences are from words and words from sounds. Children, at first, play with new stories and create new language patterns. They develop phonemic awareness by singing songs, chanting rhymes and reading books. Students learn new words every day. They make an understanding of how oral language works in many ways.

Beginning readers develop their concepts of letters. By recognizing letters in print, name, singing, students begin to understand this relationship. For some children, teachers also have to provide small-group instructions. Teachers have to be open, systematic, and supportive than they usually are. This way they can develop a direct relationship with phonics.

Phonics helps students develop a sound-letter relationship which allows them to decode better. Think about solving the word ‘fish,’ and you need to hear first, understand terms, and put them into effect.

The following are some ways the teachers can help students to learn how to decode:

  • Breaking down of big tasks into smaller tasks
  • Helping students organize the information in a systematic manner
  • Following a predictable pattern
  • It helps them build a word study pattern

Having Fluency:

Reading fluency is the ability to grasp and read texts fluently quickly. Fluent readers do not have to decode words with difficulty. They learn from developing good reading proficiency. Since fluent readers have a useful vocabulary, they make connections between different texts.

Students with Learning Disabilities tend to read calmly, laboring over the text structures. Sometimes the text may be too challenging to read. A lack of fluent reading means that the students lack confidence. If they encourage students to read more, they can become fluent readers. It also gives them improved reading skills.

Fluency comes with oral readings. Fluency is targeted through many other factors like:

  • Reading the same words again and again
  • When the reading is shared repeatedly
  • Self-Identifying reading errors
  • Visualization

Developing Vocabulary:

Students need to develop word awareness, to help them recognize words automatically. Children with learning disabilities think and understand differently. Understanding what they read and remember is the central act of learning. During the reading process, the students have to know what they read. They also have to figure out the different strategies that work. Students develop recognition of most words they hear, see and write.

Vocabulary has to be developed, expanded, and taught. Extending the language and expanding it requires exposure to words and their meanings. They must be taught to use various strategies which enhance their word strength.

Some of the effective vocabulary strategies occur when:

  • Activity-based methods
  • Computer-assisted methods
  • Exposure to new words
  • Interaction with the same terms to process deeply
  • Making connections between old and new words

Final Notes:

Prevention and early intervention provided by well-trained teachers can improve reading methods. It can change from a poor reader to a good reader. If we delay intervention, approximately 75% of the children continue to have reading disabilities.

How to be Organized

How to be Organized

7 Ways to organize and improve your daily routine

We all have this vision in our heads to be a better person than we were yesterday. Everyone’s goal in life is different. Getting organized is a fundamental building block to reach your goal. Getting organized is easier said than done. Taking a slow and steady step will help you get there. Sometimes keeping things systematic is therapeutic for many.

Don’t we all like to find our car keys immediately when we are looking for them? Rather than searching for the keys all over the place? The idea of putting things in designated places helps avoids confusion. This holds good for storing and sorting information as well. Good organization can lead to better thinking. With a clear mind, one can start with small goals and reach for higher ones in the process. Some simple hacks will save time. This will relieve you from the burden of remembering and keeping track of everything.


How to be organized

Do you know that successful people don’t store everything in their brain? They use the tools available to jot down their ideas. Write a to-do list every day and cross off completed items, this gives a sense of accomplishment. Even if you are not into making checklists, start simple and you will enjoy the benefits. Go through the list of tasks and start with one task and as you finish it, go for the next. By doing this, you enter a world where things are sorted, uncluttered, and organized.

Fun fact: Do you know when you write down tasks and strike off , your body generated happy harmones called “Dopamine“. 

If you don’t write down the to-dos, certain tasks can fall apart. You can use any media to make checklists. You can use as simple as paper and pen, to complex productivity tools out there in the market. Some tools that you can use are:

  • Sticky Notes
  • Paper Diaries
  • Whiteboard
  • To-do note
  • Web tools
  • Scribbling pads

Plan ahead:

How to be organized

The next important step towards getting organized is planning. Planning saves time and saves us from chaos. Writing what needs to be done and sticking to the routine will make us feel happy and create good habits. Rewarding oneself in the process will help to motivate. We all have so many goals like Staying healthy, eating healthy, meditating, or even waking up early. Without a proper plan and schedule, it is impossible to achieve these goals. One of the best habits to cultivate is to workout. By planning, we can push ourselves to achieve this goal. So how do you plan?

  • Place your workout clothes and shoes
  • Pack your gym bag the previous night
  • set an alarm for gym time
  • As soon as alarm rings step out of the house 

Now with consistency this becomes an habit. So planning is important part to becoming organized.

Use online scheduling apps :

How to be organized

Thanks to science and technology we have so many interesting apps and scheduling software, which makes our life very simple. You can use one of many online scheduling apps including Google calendar, to set reminders about due dates, birthdays, anniversaries, project completion dates, etc. You can also share calendars across different people, so it is easier to manage all your schedules and your kids’ schedules all in one place. Using color-coded tasks to differentiate between different tasks or giving priority to different tasks is now possible with technology.

  • Mobile apps
  • Calendars
  • Electronic calendar


How to be organized

Cupboards, kitchens, and all things at home should have proper storage. Organize your workspace using separate bins for different items. You don’t need to invest a lot for organizing, you can use simple plastic boxes to get things done. Practice putting unwanted things away immediately after using them. When the space is clean there is more energy and you feel fresh to use that space.

If you have everything within your reach and the same place, you can find it later. They help you keep all the files, documents, papers in one place. Also managing to schedule is very important to stay organized. Several great tools help you manage your time. Scheduling different tasks for different days makes planning easier.

  • Mondays – Laundry
  • Tuesdays – Emptying the trash
  • Wednesdays – Office cabin dusting
  • Thursdays – Menu Prep
  • Fridays – Gardening


How to be organized

Why we procrastinate? – Fear of failure

  • No motivation for completing a task
  • The task itself is boring and mundane

Sometimes getting things done is easier than thinking about doing it. Taking smaller steps in completing a task helps too. Also scheduling and setting aside time to do tasks will be helpful. Reduce the distractions from your work environment. This helps you focus more on the task at hand. For a mundane task like cleaning the house, you can listen to music or call your friends to remove the burden from doing the task.

Delegating work:

How to be organized

You don’t have to do all by yourself. Delegating work makes you a good team player. Create a list of things-to-do for each member of the family. It’s easier to plan and execute things when it’s a team effort. Go through the list of things every week and find tasks that you can delegate to your family. Distributing the tasks and having accomplished them at the end of the day or week will be satisfying.

Having a disorganized place can be very frustrating. Even getting simple housekeeping responsibilities right, like keeping the remote in its place, can have a major impact on your mood. By teaching your kids how to get organized, you are making them independent in their actions and work. Getting kids to help around your house is the best lesson you can teach them.

Understand the priority:

How to be organized

After you identify your tasks, now go ahead and rank the tasks based on priority/urgency. Pick the task based on priority and finish it to closure. This way you are on top of your schedule and have some time to reward yourself with a glass of wine or chocolate. The amount of information available continues to grow as do the demands on our time. So when we delay our work, we lose time. It’s like searching for a needle in the haystack.

Good organizational skills take time, but it is not impossible with the right set of tools and mindset. Use these ideas in your life and be more productive.

A land of myth and a time of magic

A land of myth and a time of magic

In a land of myth and a time of magic, the future of Gerbley Farm rests on the shoulders of a young girl. Her name, Mackie Gerbley.

Mackie lived on her family farm with her dad, Tom O’Connor Gerbley, her mother, Sheila Gerbley, and her dog, Jersey. Mackie is a jumpy person who is always looking for adventure. Her red hair flamed, and freckles shone like speckled sand on a beach. There were always adventures living on a farm, but to her, they weren’t so exciting. Mackie would pray for bone thrilling, spine chilling, making-history adventure. Little did she know…

“C’mon Mackie, get out of bed!” yelled Sheila for the 40th time today. “We have to go feed the animals!”

“I don’t want to get out of bed,” Mackie complained.

“Come downstairs and eat breakfast right now, or else I will bring in the new chicks without you,” Sheila yelled teasingly.

“Oh! That’s right. It’s pickup day for the new baby chicks!” Mackie said to herself as she got out of bed and ran downstairs to eat breakfast. “Where’s the cereal mom?”

“No cereal today. You will have eggs for breakfast,” Sheila said. “If you don’t hurry up, I will pick up the chicks. You know that we are supposed to be there in half an hour.”

“Ugggh. You know I hate eggs. Why do you make me eat them?” complained Mackie.

“Then why in the world are we raising chickens?” Sheila remarked sarcastically.

“Uh, for you and dad, obviously,” Mackie said while frying herself an egg.

“Just hurry up. I will leave in five minutes whether you are ready or not,” Sheila told her. “And figure out if your dad is making barbecue for lunch please.”

Mackie gobbled down her egg and ran up the stairs to brush her teeth and get dressed. She ran back downstairs and found her dad outside watering the crops.

“Hey, Dad!” Mackie said exhausted and out of breath.

“Hey, pumpkin! Did you go for a morning run?” Farmer O’connor asked.

“You wish,” Mackie said with a small giggle, “Anyways, Mom was wondering if you wanted to make barbecue for lunch.”
“You know I’ll take any chance to barbecue,” Mackie’s dad couldn’t help but smile whenever he knew he would get to barbecue.

“Mackie! Where are you?” Mackie’s mom yelled from inside the house. “I’m going to go pick up the chicks!”
“Coming, Mom!” Mackie yelled.

Mackie ran to the car. She and her mom made their way to the chick pickup when she suddenly realized something.
“Mom, we forgot to feed the animals!” Mackie said in worry.

“Relax porcupine, I fed them while you were sleeping,” Sheila assured Mackie.

“Oh, thanks, mom!” Mackie said gleefully. “Ahhh, I’m so excited to meet the new chicks. They are going to be so cute.”
Mackie and her mom drive to the place where they were going to pick up the chicks.

“We’re here!” Sheila said in a happy tone.

“Aww, I’m so excited,” Mackie said as she jumped in her seat.

“Calm down, Mackie. The chicks won’t run away,” Sheila chuckled.

Mackie and Sheila walked into the big barn where they met the owner.

“Hi!” Mackie exclaimed.

“Hi, you must be Sheila Gerbley with the order of 25 chicks for Gerbley Farm,” the owner said.

“Yes, that’s me,” Sheila said in awe, ” The chicks are so cute!”

“Can we take them home already?” Mackie complained.

“Yes, bring them to the car and wait for me. I will pay him and come,” Sheila chimed.

Mackie and her mom arrived back home and put the chicks in their new home. Jersey, the farm dog barked in excitement.

“Hi, Jersey,” Mackie cooed.

“Hey guys! Back already?” Mackie’s dad asked.

“Yup, and the chicks are in their new home,” Mackie stated. “Mmm, what is that smell? Wait……”

“It’s barbecue time!” Mackie and her dad exclaimed together.

They sat down to eat the delicious barbecue that Farmer O’connor made.

“Thanks dad, it’s great,” Mackie beamed.

“You really outdid yourself this time Tom,” Sheila complimented.

The Gerbley family finished eating lunch, and it was time to show Mackie’s dad the baby chicks.

“They are so cute,” Mackie’s dad said.

“I know, right?” Mackie agreed.

“We should probably add some more dry straw and hay to the coop,” Farmer O’connor mentioned. “Pumpkin, do you mind going and getting some more?”

“Of, course. Consider it done,” Mackie said as she made her way to the barn.

The afternoon passed as Farmer O’connor tended to his crops, while Mackie and her mom cared for the animals. After the farm work, they went inside to take a shower and eat dinner.

“Goodnight, pumpkin,” Mackie’s dad said as he kissed her forehead.

“Goodnight, porcupine,” Mackie’s mom said she turned off the bedroom lights.

For some reason, Mackie wasn’t able to sleep until she came to the realization that the outside candles were on!
“Uh, oh,” Mackie whispered to herself as she went outside to put them out. “UH, OH!”

Mackie came out to see that the candles had started a fire! She ran inside and wrote a note saying that she would be home soon. She grabbed her jacket and ran out without a plan. All she knew was that she had to retrieve the water and earth element. She would have to combine them to make the ground wet. She started her journey and came across something while looking for the earth or water element.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” Mackie quavered.

There was a soft rustle coming from the bushes, the wind was howling, and it was pitch dark. She started to hear growling.
“A wolf!” Mackie thought to herself.

She froze in her tracks as she heard the animal growl. It jumped out of the bushes right at Mackie.

“AHHHH!” Mackie screamed in terror.
To Mackie’s surprise, the animal didn’t rip her into tiny bits and pieces, instead it licked her and barked happily.
“Wha–JERSEY!” Mackie gleed. “Awww, hey buddy.”

Jersey licked her face and sat in her lap. But it was time for her to finish her adventure.

“Okay, Jersey. Let’s go and find the elements,” Mackie said.

Thirty minutes passed before Mackie saw a small glow coming from the bushes.

“That’s it,” Mackie thought to herself. “I found something.”

She wandered in the direction of the light only to find the air element. She wished for the air element to help her, but it only made it worse. The wind blew making the fire spread faster. She knew she had to find the other elements quickly.

“C’mon, Jersey, we will have to run,” Mackie stated.

Another 15 minutes of running later, there was another glow from the bushes. She had to go through a maze to get to it.

“This is going to take a while,” Mackie thought.

She ran towards the light, finding many dead ends.

“Here it is, Jersey. The earth element!” Mackie smiled but knew her journey wasn’t over.

She grabbed the stone and put it in her pocket. She continued to run in search of the water element.

“What was that?” Mackie inquired, “Oh my god, it’s a lion!”

“You must know me,” the lion responded to Mackie’s shriek.

“You can talk,” Mackie gasped, “and no, I don’t know you.”

“Me? You don’t know me? You don’t know the king of the jungle?” the lion asked.

“If you are the king of the jungle, can you tell me where I can find the water element?” Mackie asked.

“Oh, so it was you who was foolish enough to set my home on fire,” the lion said. “Well, if you want the element, you have to solve my riddle.”

“Ok, what other option do I have?” Mackie asked

“None other,” the lion snapped. “Here is your riddle. What disappears as soon as you say its name?”

Mackie thought hard until she thought she had the answer.
“Is it silence?” Mackie asked.

“Correct,” the lion said as he handed over the water element.
Mackie merged the water and earth elements, stopping the fire. She completed her task and returned home like nothing happened.

The Greedy King

The Greedy King

In a kingdom called Griffindale there once was a very mean king. The king’s name was Alex. He was very arrogant and always greedy for power and wealth. So many people hated the king because of his greed and arrogance.

The king had millions and millions of really tall guards. He was so obsessed with his wealth that he always told his guards, “Hey guards, wear this shiny golden armor because I don’t have a place to keep them, and if you lose even one small piece, you will be hanged!!!!” The guards never really liked the king, but they were helpless.

The king lived in a grey and black castle as tall as a skyscraper. It was very crooked. The castle had millions of rooms and millions of stairs. It also had a huge garden where magical things happened.
In the kingdom, there lived a boy named Adam with sky blue eyes. His friends and family called him Addie. He wore a fur coat that could fit a giant. He was very kind and understanding. Adam had an older brother named John who was a servant in the castle.

One day, John and Adam walked past a fruit stall near the castle.

“Hey John, can we buy some apples and peaches please?” Adam asked his brother.

“Ok,” sighed John. John bought the apples and the peaches, and when the two finished eating their fruit, they continued their stroll. Suddenly, Adam accidentally bumped into one of the castle guards! Luckily, the guard didn’t see him. The other guards were slashing at the poor people in the kingdom because the king wanted to get whatever money he could from them.

“Hey! Stop hurting them!!” Adam yelled, but the guards didn’t listen. Adam turned to his brother and pleaded, “Look what the guards are doing! We have to stop them!” John agreed.

Just then, Adam had a great idea. He said to John, “You know how the king has a garden where magical things happen? Let’s go there and find a spell to cure the king of his greed!”

So that night, the two brothers tried sneaking into the castle, but they were caught by the guards and thrown into prison. They worried that they would never escape. John and Adam heard the guards talking. The king ordered that tomorrow the boys would be hung. Adam and John needed to find a way to escape.

According to legend, the castle prison had a secret wall that prisoners could escape through. Adam and John spent most of the night trying to find the secret wall. Finally, Adam found it! They escaped through the wall and ran to the magical garden where the spell book was kept.

Their luck was poor. The king was sitting in the garden when the boys arrived and he sent them back to prison. This time, the secret wall was sealed and they would need another escape plan. Luckily, Adam had small hands that could fit through the jail cell bars. Adam tricked the guard into coming close to their jail cell.

“I have a secret about the king. Do you want to hear it?” Adam said. He knew that the guards hated the king and loved secrets about him.

“Tell me quickly. I don’t have much time,” the guard replied. Adam whispered so that the guard would lean close. While the guard was listening to Adam’s lie, he snuck his hand through the bars and grabbed the keys without the guard noticing. The guard walked away to tell the other guards the secret about the king that Adam had made up. That was their chance to use the keys and escape. It worked!

Once again, the brothers ran to the garden, but this time nobody was there. They found the spell book and read how to cure the king from his greed. Next to the book was a magical wand. They waved the wand in the direction of the king’s bedroom and recited the spell.

Then, just as they were about to leave, the king was right in front of them! Instead of putting John and Adam back in jail, the king thanked them for curing him of his greed. He said, “You will be presented in court tomorrow at 9 o’clock sharp.”

The next day in court, the king gave a lot of his wealth to John and Adam and distributed the rest of his wealth amongst the people in the kingdom. He told his guards to give nice clothes to all the poor people. The whole kingdom loved their king from that day on.

9 Tips for Writing Stories by Award-Winning Author, Sid Fleischman

9 Tips for Writing Stories by Award-Winning Author, Sid Fleischman

My late grandfather, Sid Fleischman, wrote over fifty books in his lifetime. Here are a few of his writing tips.

1. It’s the job of the hero or heroine to solve the story problem: Don’t leave it to a minor character like Uncle Harry. You’d know something was wrong if Watson solved the crime instead of Sherlock Holmes. This clunky plotting sank many of my stories when I started out. 

2. The main character should be changed by the events of the story. Remember your fairy tales? Change is built into the refrain at the end: “And they lived happily ever after.” 

3. If there’s a hole in your story, point it out and the hole will disappear. If you’ve written something that readers might not accept as plausible, don’t simply hope they won’t notice.  Point at the problem and come up with an explanation that will satisfy them.

4. Dramatize important scenes; narrate the trivialities. Use dialogue and what-happened-next detail to bring your major scenes to full life.  The rest can get by with mere summaries.

5. Give weather reports. It helps the reality of a scene if foghorns are blowing or kites are in the sky on a windy afternoon or the day’s so hot wallpaper is peeling off the walls. 

6. The stronger the villain – or opposing force – the stronger the hero or heroine. A wimpy problem delivers a wimpy story. Stack the odds against your hero, then figure out a way for her or him to triumph.

7. When possible, give important characters an “entrance”. That’s why grand staircases were invented. 

8. Write in Scenes. It’s generally hard to find any pulse in straight narration. Color it grey. Show; don’t tell. Color it splashy.

9. Imagery is powerful shorthand. It says in four or five memorable words what might otherwise take you sentences to describe.  “He could bathe in a shotgun barrel” beats “He was by far the thinnest person I’d ever seen in my entire life.” Don’t settle for comparisons that don’t quite fit the bill. It takes time to think up fresh similes and metaphors, but it’s time well spent. 

To learn more about Sid Fleischman, his life and his writing, visit his website at