To start this unit off with bang - I found these fun ideas from 4th Grade Frolics! We, too, started off with the "Go away Big Green Monster" book and then went into the descriptive writing and trying to match notecards. ( I told ya...more monster goodness!) The students loved this!! I didn't show pictures and they had to draw from my reading the book!
After our first complete unit, we reviewed the steps in the writing process, stressing the importance of each and how they effect the outcome of the writing.
Descriptive writing, I emphasized was all about the DETAILS! My students clearly made the connections when they had to do the monster exercise.
They drew for 10 min, wrote a description for 5, then had 5 min to draw what was on the notecard of a partner and see how closely they matched. I had to emphasize they couldn't get any clues! We wanted to really stress how details are important!
We took time to present them so we could discuss the level of detail if they were closely related or what they completely forgot and how it effected the outcome of the picture. My students really picked up on this concept of detail! They were the ones making all sorts of connections to what we would be writing next and how detail is vitally important, even though we only demonstrated it using one sense!
Here are some of our finished paired pieces:
forgot to mention color, but described shape well.
Another fun way to tie this in would be to use the Create a Monster Site from Disney. for FREE, you can create a monster instead of draw and you could also type a description instead of write. If only I had found it in time for this year! The website is great and easy to save so it is very student friendly.
Here's a sample of one I created, how fun would that be to describe as well! Just another idea to add for next year!