Friday, October 31, 2014

Descriptive Writing: Monster Style!

I thought I'd share with you today a great exercise we did to kick off a big writing project.  For this project, students need to be able to read each other's writing and DRAW from their details.  I wanted to set the stage for how important it is to explain clearly in your writing!
I started by writing a very simplistic description of "Mitzy", my monster.  I gave the students paper to draw what THEY thought Mitzy looked like!
After the students finished, we did a little gallery walk to look at the HUGE variety of interpretations!  Students got a little agitated when they saw the "real" Mitzy!
 "You didn't tell us where the eyes went!"
 "You didn't tell us what her body looked like!"
 "What does it mean to look like a fish?"
 "How can legs be round?"
 Mission accomplished.

<insert fiendish laughter here>
The REAL Mitzy!
 So...the next steps were to read to them a description of ANOTHER monster, Priscilla.  
Time to draw again!  Students were SO excited..."We know what to draw this time!"
I loved watching the students referring back to the text as they drew.  They checked, and rechecked, and drew and erased, and checked off details as they went.  You could have heard a pin drop!
Here are a few of their samples!
The REAL Priscilla!
So guess what was next? That's right--student designed and drew their own monsters--and wrote matching descriptive pieces.  After that?  Exchanging with a friend in another class to see if they can use their great descriptions to draw their monsters.  Stay tuned!

Want a super cute book to use with it?  I kicked off the project with...

If you want a closer look...check it out here.  My kids LOVED it--and I had a blast making all the different monster voices.  I think it really got their creative juices flowing!

2 comments:

  1. What a super process for writing! I have done similar with the children drawing something but not using two comparison texts. I will definitely be using and thanks for the book recommendation as well!

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  2. I am all ready to use this lesson this week in my classroom! I'm also prepared for another lesson on descriptive writing that I saw over on Ideas by Jivey. Hopefully my kiddos will gain a lot of skill in descriptive writing this week! Thanks for the great idea!

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