Other Ways to Use This Lesson:
Remember to allow the opportunity for your learners to write “visually”. Let them see the picture before they write. Train them early to ‘visualize’ and see the details. Guaranteed, your students will feel more confident with this approach.
As stated earlier, this lesson can focus on one skill at a time. When you are introducing “verbs” or action words, decide which kind of verb you want them to use and circle those words in their descriptive sentence. The children can use 3 pictures or clip art and compare “verbs” to make and create a verb list or verb pictorial dictionary. This activity can give you an on-going assessment as well. Try this activity with adjectives too.
Elaborated puppet sticks are a creative way to excite the children when they write. Children can use colored pictures, clip art, or their own art work to glue at the end of a craft stick as a puppet. Keep the puppet sticks in a basket to be reused throughout the year. Perhaps your puppet sticks are not of people or characters. Let them create scenery or object puppets too. Depending on the objective taught, if you only want to reinforce elaborative writing, allow the children to take a stick out of the basket and write a descriptive sentence. If the children want to use two puppets as characters, let them describe the puppets in an elaborative sentence while comparing the differences and similarities. The puppet is just a visual to ‘hold’. Their writing can be as creative as an elaborative poem, descriptive paragraph or narrative. Let your experienced writers stretch their imaginations and encourage them to use ‘details’.
Additionally, you can use this activity every week for practice along with reinforcing various topics throughout the year. For instance, you may be reading about birds one week, so allow the children to do a similar activity using pictures of birds. If you have stickers, try them to save time. Just illustrate the background. If time is a challenge, keep pictures or sculptures of animals/people available, with or without a background for your students to use rather than spending time illustrating. If you have time to illustrate, try stencils to trace and add details as needed.
Moreover, create a worksheet with several clip art pictures along the left side of the paper corresponding with a blank line for kids to write an elaborated sentence. Remind the children that color will help their descriptions as well. You can cut the elaborated sentences into strips, glue to construction paper and trim, laminate them and use throughout the year. If you use dry erase markers, the children can color code parts of a sentence by circling each part and simply erase when completed.
Lastly, experienced writers can keep their elaborated work in a personal journal or portfolio to be shared as the year progresses. All you need is a cover. Check for Visual Reading and Writing Activities for the Common Core in my store. All can be found at www.visualccl.com