CRAFT STUDIO: THE WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TAUGHT CANADA HOW TO BE A SOCCER COUNTRY
What I Was Reading:
In The Women’s National Team Taught Canada How to Be a Soccer Country, Harley Rustad, whose sister played for Canada from 1999-2008, analyzes the impact of the women’s national team on Canadian soccer fandom.
This paragraph is about Canada’s reaction to the team’s gold-medal win at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo:
Canada won gold. In soccer. I cried. I watched Sinclair—who was nineteen during that breakout 2002 tournament—celebrate nearly two decades later with an Olympic gold medal. I wasn’t alone. While more than 4.4 million Canadians watched at home on the CBC, no fans were in the stadium that night in Tokyo, that second summer of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some might have seen that victory as anticlimactic: to win gold without a crowd watching and screaming. But, in a way, it was perfect: the exuberance and exaltations of the team weren’t muffled by the screams of a jubilant horde. We screamed at home, we cried at home. They screamed on the field, they cried on the field—and we heard it all.
What Moves I Notice the Author Making:
- The first thing I noticed about this paragraph is that it includes an intentional variety of sentence types and lengths to create interest, rhythm, and flow. For example, the opening three very short sentences are followed by a much longer sentence.
- The writer uses a wide range of punctuation for effect, including the em dash to set off details about captain Christine Sinclair in order to provide background for the reader.
- The pairing of the related sentences beginning with “Some might have seen…” and “But, in a way…” is reinforced by repeating the same technique of using a colon to introduce detail in both sentences.
- Similarly, the repetition of the structure “We screamed at home, we cried at home. They screamed on the field, they cried on the field…” underscores the sense of solidarity between the team and their fans being described.
Possibilities for Writers:
- Notice and name other interesting craft moves in this passage.
- Watch for interesting sentences varieties and structures in texts they are reading.
- Identify other paragraph organization and structure techniques they find in their reading.
- Find places in their reading where the writer uses repetition for effect.
- Revise a draft in their writer’s notebook by incorporating some of the craft moves you notice in this excerpt.
- Use this as a model for experimenting with rhythm and flow in a paragraph.