Mini lesson
Name: Jordan Smith
Date: March 11, 2011
Objective or Focus: Students will learn to write to get “pictures in their head.”
Materials List: Flashcards, 2 posters, markers, thesaurus
Invitation or Introduction: “What is the main difference between picture books and
chapter books? Picture books have the pictures to help the reader understand or
further explain the words. Chapter books must be written with such great in depth
descriptions that the reader will be able his or her imagination to create their own
pictures in their head. Today we will learn to write like we are the authors of a
chapter book. We will write to get pictures in our heads. We must write so
descriptively that anybody reading it will know exactly what you are talking about.”
Teacher Modeling: “When we write we like to be able to describe something so well
that we do not even need pictures, besides the ones we create in our imagination.
We do this by using adjectives, which are words that describe a person, place, or
thing. Adjectives can be colors, shapes, sizes, or basically any way of describing
something. (flashcards) I will show you some pictures and demonstrate what words
I would use to describe them. Here are some examples. (poster and marker) Would
I say ‘the object is blue’ or ‘the ball is blue’? Would I say ‘the ball is over there’ or
‘the baseball is in the corner next to the baseball bat’? It is important to be specific
in order to make vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. (thesaurus) We can also use a
thesaurus to help us use a variety of words. With this, we look up the word we want
to use, then find new words that mean the same thing. When we start writing, we
create a picture in our head as we are brainstorming. Now we have to start with a
sentence to describe each detail of that picture that is in our head. (poster and
marker) I think I will write about the weather today. Imagine that you are writing
for somebody who cannot see, they have nothing to look at. You will have to write
with such great words that they will be able to create a picture in their mind that is
similar to the one that is in your mind.”
Independent Practice: “You will describe you favorite place in a paragraph using
vivid descriptions. This can be somewhere you have been on vacation, your favorite
room in your house, your favorite place to hang out, or anywhere that you just love
to go. Remember a good paragraph has five sentences. While you are writing, think
about describing this place to somebody who has never seen or ever heard about
this favorite place of yours. Describe how it looks, smells, its surroundings, what is
there, and anything else you can think of.”
Assessment and Reflection: The teacher will walk around the room to observe
students’ writing and redirect ones needed, help find resources if needed, and
commend those who are on the right track. The teacher will also take anecdotal
notes while observing. This skill can be used in all types of writing. It makes more
vivid and interesting writing.
A fish. A white, black, and orange
fish. An orange fish with white
stripes that looks like Nemo.
A box. A gift box. A red gift box with green
ribbon and a white name tag.
Food. A large pizza. A large circle
pizza with cheese and pepperoni.
A ball. A soccer ball that is black and
A road sign. An octagon shaped red
stop sign.
A flower. A yellow flower. A yellow
The pictures will be placed on one side of the index card and the descriptions on
the other side. The teacher will start out with the first sentence of the description,
then get more vivid using more descriptive words.