Hey ya'll!!! I wanted to share a lesson we did in writing last week that my students ate up! If you didn't know Missouri is the SHOW-ME state so I knew this writing lesson was meant to be...We are working on narrative stories and getting some 5th grade boys to write is straight pullin' teeth. After some Googleing (Is that a word?) and thinking, I
came up stole a great mini lesson over adding description to text. It turned out being a lot of fun! Enjoy!
We started off with our objective: We will add description to our text to
show our reader what is happening instead of just telling them by adding descriptive words that help create imagery. (run-on sentence....)
(Excuse my Smart Board drawings, I'm no artist)
To start I always go back to "the generic tree model"...What is the tree you ask?? I always remind my students that we want the tree in our writing to be the same tree our reader is seeing in their head when they are reading. Our trees have to match!! This brings us back to description and showing... NOT telling our reader what is happening in our story.
After I did that speech we went on and looked at an example: My room was messy.
I asked them what their room looked like when it was messy and we made a list. I showed them how to turn all these ideas into a paragraph...we came up with this as our example:
I walked into my room and nearly tripped to the ground. My floor was completed covered in clothes, sports equipment, shoes, and trash. Looking into my closet I saw my dirty clothes hamper spilled over with laundry and there was a rotten apple on my desk under the window. “I really need to get it together,” I said to myself. “There is probably a rat living in here.” Embarrassed of myself I trudged through the mess like a turtle in mud. I made it to my bed and plopped down right on a melted ice cream cone. As my hand became covered in sour milk I whispered out loud. “I guess I deserved that.” I threw the soggy wrapper in the trash and started cleaning immediately.
The next brainstormed was: I was excited.
I asked: If you are excited what does that look like?
These were our brainstorming ideas:
hyper, big smile, screaming, gasping for air, running wild, parents mad, faint, moving quick, bouncing, shivers, big eyes, crying, laughing hard, bragging, frozen stiff, mouth open, run into the street
And here is what we came up with to show our readers:
As the door opened I saw the big check. I froze stiff with my mouth wide open. I didn't know rather to run into the street or bounce off the walls. I wanted to start running wild. I became so hyper I started to scream and began gasping for air. I thought I was going to faint when my eyes opened big and I started to cry. I laughed so hard when the man told me I won 100 billion dollars. My parents rushed in angry they were mad I was being so hyper. They didn't realize we just became Hannibal's new billionaires.
For the formative assessment I gave my students a sentence from the website: How to Teach Descriptive Writing with Show-me Sentences. This is where I originally borrowed this lovely and fun activity! Check them out for a list that you can print and cut to pass out to students. My students have a great time creating their short show-me sentences and loved sharing them. We even guessed what their sentence was and it put some smiles on some faces. As a writing teacher I'm always lookin' for quick mini-lessons that I can get in and done within 45 minutes.