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Reading/Writing
Grade: Middle

#2085. Descriptive Writing

Reading/Writing, level: Middle
Posted Sat Dec 16 20:46:18 PST 2000 by Martha Jennings (Martha704@aol.com).
Plainfield Community Middle School, Plainfield, Hendricks
Materials Required: Paper, pencil, internet, word processor
Activity Time: one week
Concepts Taught: Adjective Usage with Technology

After a unit on correct adjective usage in which we learn to use a variety of adjectives: true adjectives(always adjectives), comparative form, superlative form, nouns as adjectives, -ed verbs as adjectives, -ing verbs as adjectives, proper adjectives, and hyphenated adjectives, students are assigned to write a descriptive paragraph that describes a setting. The teacher demonstrates with a sample and a mapping (webbing) pre-writing activity. Students compose their own mappings and rough drafts. The rough drafts are peer-edited with a peer-edit sheet that accompanies each rough draft. The peer-edit sheet asks the editors to check for correct punctuation, capitalization, language usage, and sentence structure as well as to mark each descriptive word. Students must include examples of five different kinds of adjectives listed above. Each paper is to demonstrate the adjective, adjective noun punctuation rule. Once peer-editing is finished, students type their paragraphs in the computer lab. Printouts are designed so that the paragaph appears on the bottom half of the sheet. Next, we import pictures from the internet to illustrate the setting described. We size the picture to fit on a half-sheet of paper and head the picture with a title for the paragraph, name, and class of student. Next, we feed the paragraph printout into the printer upside down so that when the picture is printed, a "tent card" is created. When the paper is folded in half, the picture with title, name, and class appears on the front. When the front of the folded sheet is lifted up, the descriptive paragraph appears. I put these on display on my magnetic chalkboard by posting them with pinch clothespins that have magnetic tape strips on the back.