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    Great Ideas for Teaching Description
    By Leah

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    I have found that sometimes just a paragraph from a great novel is as good as an entire book. I teach fourth grade and use excerpt from books like TREASURE ISLAND, BANDIT'S MOON and CHARLOTTE'S WEB. When you are doing read alouds look for short scenes that help you visualize. I do use a few picture books that I especially like- GRANDPA LOVED, THE RED RACER and OWL MOON. OWL MOON is particularly good for a focus lesson. It has descriptions that touch all the senses. When I am reading a particularly interesting passage in a book I tell the class to " Close your eyes and open your mind's eye." I then read slowly and allow them to visualize the words. We then talk about what words helped them make their picture. Another good trick is to have them close their eyes and visualize " something sweet." Have them take turns telling what they saw. Then have them close their eyes again an visualize a "huge bowl of creamy vanilla ice cream with a river of fudge leaking out from under the mountain of whipped cream on the top." Ask the students which words made it easier to get the picture. This helps them understand that description is not only to help them visualize, but to get the picture that you-the author- intend. Hope this helps- Leah

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