students struggle to communicate their ideas in
writing, descriptive details are often left by the
wayside. As a result, their writing may come across
as lifeless, flat and generic.
breathe life into their descriptive writing, I
often take the time to do the following
begin asking my students to bring in a photograph,
preferably a picture that shows an event or place.
I also bring in my own photograph and a written
account of the picture. (Read My
It takes a little extra time for me to write about
myself, but I feel that using my own example has
my own writing allows students to see me, the
teacher, as a writer. Students have increased
interest knowing that this came from a "real"
person instead of just some
can adapt the writing to fit the student's
writing provides a tailor-made example of the
never need to worry about copyright
Teachers don't have to be Nobel Laureates to write
for their students. In fact, they can use their
students as peer evaluators who can provide
I give each student a copy of my story and picture.
We read through the story together and talk about
any unfamiliar words. Then I have the students
identify examples of adjectives related to the five
senses. They go back to the story one more time and
look for examples of emotions or memories in the
story. We then take the opportunity to discuss what
would happen to the story if all the descriptive
words and memories were left out of the
discussing my photo, I have the students show their
picture to a partner. The partner asks reporter
questions (who, what, where, etc.) trying to learn
all the details of the picture. Following this
discussion, the students are now ready to write
about their own pictures. As they write, I
encourage the students to include details about
what they saw, heard, tasted, felt, and smelled
when the picture was taken.
result is much more dynamic writing that draws the
reader into the writer's world.
Read the papers her students wrote.