Descriptive Writing with Food!
Descriptive writing is always a fun one to teach. Anytime you can use food in a lesson, it is a hit. Especially with a sweet treat like Oreos!
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Before we start, I read a book that is the furthest thing from Oreos! It is called Toad by Ruth Brown. I always read this one because it is full of amazing adjectives! It is about a disgusting Toad living in a swamp. The kiddywinks LOVE it!
Then, we start talking about Descriptive Writing. We use this book to discuss how Ruth Brown describes the toad. As a class, we fill in a 5-Senses Graphic Organizer using adjectives from the book. (You can get the graphic organizer that I am talking about below!) When we are finished with this activity, if we aren’t too grossed out, we move on to describe a food.
Each teacher on the second-grade team (there are four of us) chooses a food to describe (being mindful of any food allergies that we have of course). Writing lessons are always more fun when you get to eat! 🙂 Then, as a class, we enjoy our snack while thinking of describing words for our treat. While the students are enjoying their snack, they fill out a graphic organizer either independently or with their table. Then, we come back together as a class.
The kiddos share what they wrote on their graphic organizers and we work together to write a description using our five senses. At first my students always want to try to trick the other class. We talk about how that is a fun thing to do, but when you are describing something you want your reader to be able to picture it clearly in their minds.
We all do a little visualizing, then we write our description. We write it in a way that it may not be totally obvious what we are writing about at first (to help keep our readers attention), but by the end, it should be clear what we are writing about!
This is the description that we wrote together:
While I am writing our description, I purposely make some mistakes. We do some editing together and then a final draft (just a quick introduction or that could be a separate lesson for the next day!) We use CUPS all year to edit our writing, so the kiddos should be familiar.
When we are all finished with our descriptive writing, we trade our descriptions with the other classes.
As a class, we try to figure out what kind of food each class ate. In my room, I slowly read the description and when the kiddos think that they know what it is, they put up their thumbs. We decide what the food being described is, and then flip the chart over to find out if we are correct. We decide if it is a good description we should be able to figure it out easily.
We also talked about what keywords helped us to figure out the descriptions. We picked out which senses they appealed to. You could extend this lesson by passing the graphic organizer out again, and having your students fill it in while you are reading the other classes descriptions. This could be an entire week of writing lessons!
- Monday-Read Toad and do the graphic organizer as a class.
- Tuesday- Review the lesson from Monday, then do the lesson above.
- Wednesday – Reread Oreo Description, edit, and do a final draft.
- Thursday – Read a description from another class and fill out the descriptive writing graphic organizer.
- Friday – Do the same for the description from another class and recap the week!
It is a fun activity that the kiddos really get into (I am sure getting to eat has nothing to do with it)!
Free Descriptive Writing Graphic Organizer!