Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Writing Mini Lesson

I'll admit that writing is not one of my favorite subjects to teach. 
Math - Yes!  Writing - Blah! 
I'm always looking for new and exciting ideas, so I went over to...
I figured if I was going to take some ideas, I will try and leave one as well.
It can be tough to teach kids how to be descriptive writers. 
The best thing I can do is try to have fun activities to help them along the way.
One activity that the kids have really enjoyed the past few years was an alien writing activity.
We started by brainstorming common places.
-grocery store
-fast food joint
-baseball game
Then each student has to choose one to use in their writing.  But, there are a few rules.
-The writing must be from the alien's point of view.
- The alien cannot smell anything.
-It's an alien, so it doesn't know the name of our objects.
I always give the students an example first.  Here is my writing.
I have entered what appears to be a large container filled with Earthlings.  There are long, flat wooden boards with many different materials on them.  The Earthlings are also sitting on long boards, but they seem to be closer to the ground.  As I observe the Earthlings, I notice that many of them are smaller and there are a few taller Earthlings.  The taller ones are walking around and looking at the smaller ones.  The small ones that are sitting keep picking objects up and putting them into their mouths.  I can see white squares and when I touch the square, it feels like a sponge.  I also see some liquids that the Earthlings pour into their mouths.  I can see their mouths moving up and down.  Then suddenly, what they put in their mouths disappears.  After some time, all the little Earthlings look at the tall Earthlings.  Then all the little Earthlings get up and put materials into some containers.  After that, they go out a door and I can no longer see them. 
Can you guess where I am?
It really is a fun writing activity and gets the kids thinking about descriptive writing.
They love reading their paragraph out loud and having
the other kids try to guess the location.
I even had all the kids type up their paragraph and then I put them together in a class book. 
 I put two stories on a page, double sided, so each kid could take a copy home.
Of course we put an answer key in the back since a few places were tough to figure out.
I hope you can use this idea and I'm excited to go and check out the other ones.


  1. This is an adorable idea!! I love it! Thanks for linking up!!

  2. What a fun activity, my brain is racing with ways I can use this in my class this year!!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  3. Such a cute idea! It really forces the kids to be descriptive and think about ways to describe things without using traditional words. Thanks for sharing!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine