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2nd-4th Grades: Writing with Sensory Details

Content Standard:  Demonstrate competence in written language.

Performance Standard:  Demonstrate effective communication using a variety of strategies.

Performance Objective:  Develop competence in prewriting:  brainstorming a list of ideas and clustering the ideas.

Quality Tools:  Brainstorming, Affinity Diagram

Engage:  Begin by passing out popsicles to the students. As the students enjoy eating them, ask them to think about the sensory details of the experience:  What do they see? What do they hear? What do they taste? How are they feeling?  What do they smell?

Elaborate:  As a whole class, review brainstorming rules.  Brainstorm sensory details about the popsicle; categorize the words and phrases as the students share. (Affinity Diagram structure:  Sight, Hearing, Taste, Feeling, Smell)

Lead the students to realize the importance of brainstorming ideas before writing. Why is it important to make a list of ideas before you write? How would you use the brainstorming list?

Explore:  Provide more practice with brainstorming and organizing brainstorming into affinity categories.  Group the students and give each group an object or picture. Tell them to brainstorm ideas, then categorize the ideas.  Monitor and provide direction and support as the groups work.

Connect:  Inviting sharing from each of the groups.

Facilitate a reflection discussion on the process:  What did we do? How could this help you as a writer?