Saturday, 6 September 2014

Describe it to me?

We've been delving in descriptive writing over the last little while. We've looked at poems - even written a couple; but have focussed on creating rich descriptive writing of our own.  We've described all manner of things, but the most challenging has been colour.  Yep, describing colour.  Does that qualify me for that top rank of sadistic teachers who set horribly difficult learning tasks?  Well, maybe not but it sure does push me pretty close to the top. Especially when you consider that we've dipped into this particular pot of fun TWICE! Both times with paint chips - such a variety of colours!

As a side note: how awesome are paint chips? I mean, seriously! What's not to love? *sigh*

The first set of paint chips were those 3 shade of one colour kind. My young people had to write similes  involving the colour of their paint chip. They were peer reviewed by at least two other people using 'two stars and a wish' and then conferred with me.  The results were impressive. Some examples:
Not the world's best photo but gives the general gist!

This pink is as warm as a hug from my grandma. 

Yellow is as bright as a sunshiny morning. 

Grey rolls like grey ocean waves under storm clouds.

Not bad hey? These ones are pinned up on our classroom door. They look great!

Our second foray into describing colour was a little harder. The paint chips were larger but all one solid colour and had to be described using a variety of techniques.  The same peer review and conferring process was used,  and we left a couple of days between writing and reviewing. Lots of changes were made, which highlighted for the class the place of time in the writing process.   The results here ranged from 'um, oooohkay' to 'woooooooow!'

My favourite descriptive writing activities are still underway. I'm hoping to share some of those with you once they're done, but I'll leave you with idea that the first couple of days of spring arrived and we all went outside into the yard. The kidlets spread out around the school, soaked in some vitamin D and described (in detail) one thing they saw. We did this twice, and I gave detailed feedback. One piece is being chosen by each child and reworked ready for publication on their student blogs.

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 2 Know the content and how to teach it
Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Standard 5 Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

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