Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall is here again....

Photo copyright by K.Gomez at Growing Smart Readers 2014

Fall Picture Prompt

The leaves are already changing! Especially in the northern and central part of the state. This picture just brings out all the emotions of the season. My students love picture prompts, but they have so much trouble getting started with their writing. Descriptive writing, using the senses is a good starting point for many primary and intermediate students.

Before they write, just talk about the picture! Oral communication first!
Brainstorm using all the senses--not just the five senses! Aside from sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch, ask kids questions like...

What do you feel? 
What does this picture make you think of? 
What would it be like if you were looking up from the bottom of the tree?
What would it be like if you were IN the tree?

Start with a pre-writing activity!
Kids will need to start out by creating a list or for many a word web is visually concrete. Random words, stream of thought, whatever comes to mind, one word, two or more words, color words....anything goes to start out.

Talk about what writers do to engage their audience?
They might...
-Make comparisons using similes, using like or as.
-Use metaphors....comparing this beautiful orange tree to another object or idea...
-Write a poem (often easier for some kids) using phrases to describe this picture. 

One way to start is to list phrases that involve strong imagery and verbs that punch....such as these examples:
-fiery leaves
-flaming trees
-with leaves so juicy, they taste like orange and lemon Starbursts (the candy)...and so on.

The suggestions here are merely suggestions. There are SO many effective ways to get started with picture prompts for writing. Just remember to start with talking about the picture before asking them to write.  I love picture prompts and I know your kids will to, so if you haven't really used them yet...try it.

Please SHARE! whatever works for your students. I would love to hear what you have had success with! Leave a comment!

Perhaps you might be interested in checking out my autumn/fall poetry resource.