Descriptions & Instructions guides writers in using precise language without being wordy, in using vivid descriptions without boring your reader, and in making sure the reader understands what’s in your mind as a writer.
Use this with all of your kids, from your little ones to your high schoolers. Spend about a month on this unit, give or take, according to your own pace. Remember though, that you can come back to this next year if you like. It’s not necessary to learn everything about writing great descriptive sentences during this unit. The goal is simply to get better at it.
Here’s how to use Descriptions & Instructions:
Step 1: Mini-Lesson
The beginning of each lesson starts with a mini-lesson, a short lesson about grammar, punctuation, word choice, writing skills, and more. Mini-lessons appear in sidebars on every page so there are lots to choose from. You don’t need to do all of the mini-lessons in the unit; just pick and choose the ones that look interesting or are skills your kids need to hone!
The mini-lesson sidebars in Descriptions & Instructions include lots of ideas about how to use words and sentence structure for maximum effect.
Step 2: Exercises
All through the unit are exercises to teach better descriptive writing powers. You’ll learn how synonyms can make an okay word into a perfect word and create a colorful word choice flipbook. As you focus on figurative language, use the Simile Monster printable from the Printable Pack.
The exercises mostly end up in your Journal. They are not graded and they are private unless the writer wants to share them. Spelling, grammar, and mechanics don’t matter. This is about getting ideas down on paper!
Like the mini-lessons, you don’t need to do all the exercises. Pick and choose the ones you like. You’ll be coming back to this unit next year, so be sure to save some good ideas for later.
Step 3: Writing Project
To finish off Descriptions & Instructions, each writer will choose a piece of writing from his or her Journal or from the Idea Bank within the unit to take through the writing process. That piece of writing will be expanded, corrected, revised, and then published for an audience (probably your family!) where it will get applauded.
Then Mom, Dad, or another mentor will carefully and thoughtfully evaluate the finished writing project with help from the Descriptions & Instructions unit guide. Kids and parents will talk together about what the writer learned and what the writer can make even better.
This unit comes with a Printable Pack of printables that go with exercises and sidebar mini-lessons.
Supplemental Links, Videos, & Resources
There are Pinterest boards, weblinks, and a YouTube video playlist that go with this lesson on a separate page for Writer’s Workshop.