Can anyone help me begin descriptive paragraph with my students. How should I start and what should I include? I have an editors checklist with items that should be included, however, since September my students haven't really grown. I always have high expectations with my mini lessons and then I get "One day" and "the end" No topic sentence ,No concluding sentence. AHHHH. I am scared if I go to to fast they will not understand Descriptive Paragraphs. I think uses details: see, hear, taste, feel will only make them "list" their sentences. They usually list what they see with a picture prompt. Any good books to read first? What step by step procedure do you use.
I would find a six traits website that lists picture books for each trait. I would read some of the ideas/content books. Ideas/Content is focus and rich details. Those sites also usually have example papers of every type (descriptive, expository, etc.). They are graded on a 1-5 scale in each trait. I make overheads of 1 papers and 5 papers. The kids and I talk about the differences between the levels - what the 1 writer needs to do better and what the 5 writer did well. For example, read the 1 level paper's topic sentence/concluding sentence. Then, at the 5. Talk about the differences.
I usually find a book that I can read that is a very visual book...I bring the kids to the floor and read it to them...we then brainstorm using the 5 senses....You can use this information to write a paragraph together..
I also have a worksheet I use...(we use Strategies At Work at our school) it has 6 boxes...
1 box where they put their name, book title, author, and date ....the other 5 boxes are the senses...I have the kids put something about the book in each box..From there they can put a paragraph together...
I love using the Strategies...I teach a 2/3 combo so I use this a lot....
My descriptive writing unit is just coming to a close. I have several activities to help them get going. I start by taking notes on figurative language (simile, metaphor, etc).
I have examples of figurative language that the kids cut out and sort.
For rewardsstudents must find examples of figurative language in their books. We write them on sticky notes and glue them to small posters I have made.
Another activity is talking about color. I have several paint samples with interesting names, such as an orange called "Shrimp tail Orange" and a red called "fire truck" red. We then write similes with the colors. That girl's sweater was as orange as a shrimp's tail, or that boy's shirt was as red as a fire truck".
We also do an activity with personification. They make "Wanted" or "Lost" posters for inanimate objects. Must include a simile and descriptive language.
The last activity we worked on was describing a picture like a setting for a book. I cut out pictures from travel magazines. Mostly scenic pictures. Students then wrote descriptive paragraphs about the picture. The paragraphs are not stories, but description of the picture as if they are standing in front of the scene. I model one first and then they write it. The modeling part is critical if you want to get decent topic sentences and conclusions.
Wow, you were all so descriptive
Thanks, I will take it slow.......and read a few books with them, also I will introduce similes and metaphors slowly. I like the "Wanted" idea!
Cute. Any suggestions on books? Thanks for all your ideas. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!
I have done a couple of exercises with my students for writing descriptively. It's something that we build on all year long because otherwise they write very plain, boring sentences.
One thing I like to do, usually at the beginning of the year, is discuss how to turn a plain sentence into a descriptive sentence. I give them one sentence, such as, "It rained." I give an example of how to add description to the sentence so that it says, "Drops of water fell from the sky." We talk about how to add adverbs, adjectives, prepositional phrases, etc. to make the sentence more descriptive. Then I have the students write down their own version of the sentence and share. Some students are more descriptive than others, so sharing helps the "weaker" ones hear some "stronger" ones. At the end of the lesson, I have them find one sentence in each paragraph of their writing where they can add in some description just like we did with "It rained."
Another lesson I do is show them two versions of the same story, one very simple and to the point, one more descriptive. We read them both and compare the two. We list all of the things the author added to the second story to keep in notebooks for reference: dialogue, adjectives, details, similes, etc. Then I give them a very simple story that they have to retell by adding in details. It's interesting because the students start with the same story, but after they add to it, they're all very different. I refer to this throughout the year when students start to slack off with their details.
In the past I have given my students a hershey kiss or a lifesaver. Students described and I wrote. We wrote about how the candy looked, felt, smelled,sounded (lifesavers) and tasted. The students really get into describing the food. Afterwards they write their own paragraph. A few days later we will reread the paragraph and many students want a candy afterwards because they remembered how it tasted,etc.
This year we are not allowed to give out candy. I am going to use clementines instead. I think the kids will really like the orange!