Monday, September 17, 2012

Descriptive Writing About Monsters

My current mentor brought up an idea to the class a couple of days ago. Her students seemed really into it, so I'll share it with you. Just as a reminder, my current mentor teaches 4th grade. Basically, I think my mentor wanted to form an idea of how her students perform in terms of giving precise descriptions.

First, everyone made their own monster. That is, they used a lined sheet of paper to write a paragraph describing how their monster appears. That took them about 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Then, everyone lined up in alphabetical order. Ms. Massey, my mentor, paired them up. There was one group of three. For every two partners, each partner will read the other's description of their monster. After doing that, they would draw the monster for each others' description. It's important to note that they cannot add any details that are not in the description.

So, what does a student do if they lack certain details? For example, one student was lacking information on shape. Another student was lacking information on color. In both cases, anyone's guess is literally just as valid as another's. For shape, the monster might just be given a human figure. If color is not specified, then you don't need to give it any color. At the same time, it would seem acceptable to give it any color as well.

This activity was great for three reasons: #1 It shows you your students abilities to provide precise details. #2 It shows you your students abilities to interpret details (i.e. through their attempts at their illustrations) and #3 It gets students involved in an activity that almost every (if not, every) student likes; drawing.

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