The DESCRIPTIVE WRITING lesson-unit includes a learning game followed by independent writing supported by an array of video tutorials and handouts. In Afterschool programs, the unit will
take 2 sessions: (1) the learning game; and (2) students writing their first drafts. (Programs may add
sessions for Revising, Editing, and Publishing.)
LEARNING OBJECTIVES – Students will:
Session One—Learning Game
Introduce the game and help students focus sensory description.
LEADER: Sometimes you have an experience that’s so special you want to tell your friends all about it—something you’ve seen or heard or touched or smelled or tasted. How can you find just the right words to share your excitement? The game you’re about to play aims to help you learn how.
For a moment before you start, let’s talk about some special experiences of your own. Let’s list sensory and feeling words that describe them.
Collect words and phrases on the whiteboard and group them by sense
Good job! Now it’s time for you to go through the game.
Sharing Personal Experiences emphasizes two keys to effective descriptive writing:
(1) bringing sensory and emotional experiences to life with vivid words/phrases and similes
(2) pulling the experiences together into one main impression.
SYNOPSIS – Carmen, editor of the Kids2Kids website, invites the student to build a blog post about an unforgettable day at the beach with friends. Short first-person videos immerse students in boogie-boarding, building a sandcastle, singing and roasting hotdogs around a campfire.
Interactively, students choose language describing the videos, sort their words into sense and feeling categories,
fill cloze-style blanks in a First Draft, and revise the draft by selecting more vivid words, phrases and similes.
Scores are kept automatically. After completing the interactivities successfully, students are rewarded with access to memorable short videos and may be awarded certificates which can be posted digitally or printed.
Session Two—Independent Writing
Motivated by the game, students apply its concepts to personal compositions on topics they care about.
CHOOSING A PERSONAL TOPIC – Students choose topics for their descriptive essays. Advise students to pick special personal experiences, the more unforgettable the better.
PREWRITING – Students brainstorm words and phrases, and use a DESCRIPTIVE WRITING MAP
to plan their essays
FIRST DRAFT – Students write their first drafts.
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL SESSIONS
Session Three—Independent Writing
VIDEO TUTORIALS – Students view tutorials modeling use of similies and metaphors and
demonstrating use of REVISING handouts
PREPARINGTO REWRITE – Working collaboratively with peers, students mark their first drafts using the REVISING GUIDELINES handouts.
REVISING – Authors revise their essays.
Session Four— Independent Writing
EDITING: Students view the 5-minute EDITING MARKS VIDEO and mark their final drafts for editing. Authors correct their drafts, using spell checkers where available.
PUBLISHING : Students Share their work with classmates, parents and other students through presentations and media. Essays and responses may be saved to personal portfolios.
|TEACHER MATERIALS – downloadable video tutorials & handouts extend learning outcomes, & help students organize & evaluate essays.|
|Session One||Session Two||Session Three|
|SHARING PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
– Learning game, 25 minutes seat time
|DESCRIPTIVE WRITING MAP
– Graphic organizer to prepare for independent writing
|USING SIMILIES & METPHORS
REVISE DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY
EDITING MARKS VIDEO
EDITING MARKS HANDOUT