Rosemary Reichstetter, Curriculum Integration Coordinator, Raleigh, nc



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Teacher Name: Rosemary Reichstetter , Curriculum Integration Coordinator, Raleigh, NC

Title of Unit: Descriptive Paragraph Writing

Length of time for Unit: Two Weeks

School District: Wake County Public School System

Grade Level: 5th, 6th, 7th
LESSON PLANS


  1. Quadrant One, Right Mode (CONNECT)

Objective: Students will be able to make two drawings of the same scene based on two descriptions of the scene as read by the teacher.

Activity: 1) Teacher reads a description of a scene in a random manner with few details while the students visualize and draw the scene.



  1. Teacher reads a second description of the same scene in a well-sequenced manner using appropriate space transitions and well-defined details while the students visualize and draw the scene again on a separate paper.

Evaluation: Students have completed two drawings of the same scene.


  1. Quadrant One, Left Mode (EXAMINE)

Objective: Students will be able to discuss the similarities and differences between two drawings based on the degree of accuracy and details given.

Activity: Students discuss the similarities and differences in the two drawings made of the two descriptions which have been read to them about the same scene. A color calendar photo of the described landscape scene is shown for additional comparison.

Evaluation: Students provide a list of similarities and differences for each of the two descriptions read to them and the subsequent drawings based on these descriptions.


  1. Quadrant Two, Right Mode (IMAGE)

A. Objective: Students will be able to depict a visualized scene of a setting in a drawing and in writing.

Activity: Students are to individually visualize a place that can make them feel a specific emotion (e.g. happy and relaxed) and draw a picture of this place including many details. Each student is to then write a paragraph to describe the picture that he or she has drawn.

Evaluation: Each student has completed a drawing and a written description for the scene he or she has visualized.

B: Objective: Students will be able to compare two drawings of the same scene noting the similarities and the differences and noting the importance of accuracy and details in descriptive writings.

Activity: Students take turns reading a written description of their scenes to a partner without showing the drawing. Partners visualize and draw the scene based on the description read to them. Next, students compare the two drawings of the same scene noting the similarities and differences based on the written description and the importance of accuracy and details in descriptive writing.

Evaluation: Students provide a list of similarities and differences for each drawing and verbalize the importance of accuracy and details in descriptive writing.




  1. Quadrant Two, Left Mode (DEFINE)

Objective: Verbally and/or in writing, students will be able to state the steps and cues in writing a descriptive paragraph/theme based on the Paragraph Writing Strategy.

Activity: Following the Paragraph Writing Strategy teacher's manual developed by the University of Kansas Institute for Research in Learning, the teacher provides cues, notes, and exercises for the students to study and complete.

Evaluation: Students can state (verbally and/or in writing) the steps in writing an appropriate descriptive paragraph through the use of a topic sentence, detail sentences using space transitions, and a concluding sentence prefaced with a concluding transition.


  1. Quadrant Three, Left Mode (TRY)

Objective: Students will be able to write a whole-group descriptive paragraph/theme as guided by the teacher.

Activity: With the teacher's guidance, students complete a word-bank picture using copies of a black and white sketch of a second landscape scene shown to the students. Next, through a teacher-guided lesson, students organize the framework for writing a descriptive paragraph or theme using the word-bank picture and a blank paragraph diagram form. Then, with teacher guidance in a whole-group lesson, students write a descriptive paragraph/theme based on the completed paragraph diagram.

Evaluation: Students complete a whole-group paragraph diagram and descriptive paragraph/theme based on a given scene.


  1. Quadrant Three, Right Mode (EXTEND)

Objective: Students will be able to complete a paragraph diagram and word bank picture based on the selection of a landscape scene.

Activity: Students individually select a scene from a given collection of landscape scenes. In small groups, students work together to build word-bank pictures by writing descriptive words for objects in the scenes on rough sketches or copies of the scenes and then complete individual paragraph diagrams.

Evaluation: Students complete a word-bank picture and a paragraph diagram to match their selected scenes.


  1. Quadrant Four, Left Mode (REFINE)

Objective: Students will be able to independently write a descriptive paragraph.

Activity: Working independently, students use their completed word-bank pictures and their completed paragraph diagrams from Step 6 above and the steps learned from the Paragraph Writing Strategy to write a paragraph or theme describing their given scenes. As needed, the teacher works with students in refining their individual paragraphs/themes.

Evaluation: Each student completes a written descriptive paragraph following the Paragraph Writing Strategy with at least 80% accuracy.


  1. Quadrant Four, Right Mode (INTEGRATE)

Objective: Students will be able to share written descriptive paragraphs/themes.

Activity: 1) Landscape scenes are collected, numbered, and displayed on classroom walls.



2) Students are provided with an alphabetized list of all students in the class. Beside each name is a blank space.

  1. Students take turns reading their individual paragraphs/themes to the class.

  2. Using the scenes displayed on classroom walls, listening class members locate their choice of the scene being described and write the number of the picture next to the reader's name on their list of names.

  3. After all paragraphs/themes have been read, the lists are collected and prizes are given to the writers with the highest number of correct matches awarded by their peers.

Evaluation: Students share new expertise in using the Paragraph Writing Strategy and celebrate their success.

R. Reichstetter, WCPSS - 5/99 -


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