Students produce written products that describe a place, a feeling, a person, or an event. Expressive writing requires students to use detail as they write about personal experiences or created experiences. Descriptive or expressive writing could take the form of a biography, an autobiography, a news report, a travel diary or journal, a story, or a personal narrative. In this mode of writing, students develop complex characters and creative plots by incorporating dialogue, figurative language, suspense, and imagery.
Standards for the English Language Arts
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5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.
- Tools for writing - paper, pencils, pens, and a comfortable and quiet place to write
- Ideas for writing - A list of ideas is provided in the instructions and extension section. Other ideas may be developed by visiting the following locations on the Field Trip Earth Site:
- Lucky Loggerhead Gets a Second Chance Students can write about what happens to the "lucky loggerhead" after being released or write about the experience from the turtle's point of view.
- After viewing a photo in one of the media galleries, students write the story behind the photo. See the Media Galleries for Sri Lanka's Carnivores, The Red Wolves of Alligator River, The Elephants of Cameroon, The Appalachian Black Bears, and The Atalantic Sea Turtles
- "Voices of Kibale" is an excellent article to help students write stories about animals.
- "The Hippopotamus Encounter" and "Two Nights in Bear Alley" are personal accounts told with very vivid details. Students may use this as an example for their own personal stories.
- To begin the descriptive writing assignment, students need a topic, a purpose for writing, and a defined form for their product. For example: Topic: What would happen if we could talk to animals? Purpose: Examine life from an animal's perspective. Form: Short Story
- A list of topics or ideas for writing may be found in the extension section of this strategy.
- Once students have been given the assignment, their writing should follow a logical process:
- 1 - Prewriting - Students brainstorm ideas, complete graphic organizers, gether research before they begin the actual task of writing.
- 2 - Drafting - Students should sit in a quiet location and write.
- 3 - Editing - During the editing process, students will revise their writing and may even get assistance from a peer or a teacher.
- 4 - Publishing - Writing is meant to be shared, so in the final stage students produce a polished copy of their work and share it with others.
- Ideas for writing:
- 1 - Photo Inspired Writing - Show students photos of places, people or events and ask them to write the story behind the photo.
- 2 - Create a fictional interview with a person or an animal.
- 3 - Send a postcard to your family sharing your travels to exotic places like Cameroon, Africa. The postcards could also be written in a collection to share the story of your entire journey.
- 4 - Plan a trip to a distant location. Imagine you are going to travel through Africa (Or any other location) for two weeks on $4,000.00. Plan your trip by researching travel methods, cities, areas of interest, and cost. Once the trip is planned, tell us what happens!
- 5 - Write a short story about interaction between a human and an animal. Share these stories in an oral storytelling event.
- 6 - Create a play where the characters are all animals.
- 7 - Draw a character, the setting, and the conflict from a hat and link them together in a creative story. For example: Character - Ed Fisher, a marine biologist from New Orleans; Setting - San Francisco, CA; Conflict - Chased by a Tiger.
A rubric can be created for the written products by using the Rubistar web site. http://rubistar.4teach ers.org
- Describe or retell events. Appreciate authors who have mastered the use of details. Examine plot structure and imagery.
Author: Isenhour, Kim