Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I go back to the littles for descriptive writing! Even very young students, as early as second grade, can be taught to complete descriptive writing if they are given the tools—and especially the framework—to do so. In this project (which you get for free—grab your Teacher’s Notebook with the blank Paragraph House Outlines, adverb lesson, descriptive writing instruction, and more!), students are taught using the Directed Writing Approach.

In this approach, students are directed in every step of the writing process. For example, they aren’t just told to use the senses to describe. They are given a framework for it—the senses they will use to describe a plush toy are listed in the different squares of the Paragraph House Outline.

They are not just told to write six sentences. They are given spots in the Paragraph House Outline (four quads, a foundation, and an attic) to determine ahead of time what their six sentences will contain. (No more stopping after three sentences out of ideas as to what to write! Yay for the cuties!)

So here are the highlights of this episode:

  • A small rant (again!) about giving students Expectation Explanations for everything we ask them to do (and an explanation of how to use an Overview Box to do this)
  • Another small rant (again) about giving students all the tools that they need to complete the project before them
  • A lesson on writing description using the senses
  • A sample Paragraph House Outline that shows all of the quads, foundation, and attic filled in to give students an idea of what theirs will look like
  • A sample descriptive paragraph that was written from the sample Paragraph House Outline
  • Discussion about helping kids narrow down their words for outlining
  • Explanation of why I seldom have second and third graders write Opening Paragraphs and Closing Paragraphs unless they are more advanced and have a longer body that needs a full paragraph introduction and closing
  • How to teach students who are not writing a full opening paragraph and full closing paragraph to include a “thesis statement” and a “thesis statement reloaded”
  • A glimpse into the Checklist Challenge that goes with this project (and is also included in your TN!) and the importance of teaching the Checklist Challenge incrementally (preferably using one of my How to Complete the Checklist Challenge books/products at their level)
  • Much more!

Of course, just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable sample paragraph (and sample Paragraph House Outline!).

And for your convenience, How I Teach…. is available as a podcast (follow along in your TN sheets for that week) and a YouTube video (with Power Point containing the same as the TN)!

Note: This lesson came from Write On, Slinky Dog, Level I, a month-long downloadable book!

Find everything you need here!

Weekly broadcast episodes with Teacher’s Notebook downloads (and links to listen or watch!) at the Language Arts Lady blog

Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

Free writing books and videos of me teaching your students for you for a couple of weeks!

All of my digital books

How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast