Why are we doing this?

"Ralph Fletcher writes about 'a kind of food chain,' a hierarchy of thought ranging from the lofty and abstract down to the ordinary and concrete. 'Writing,' he asserts, 'needs to be grounded in plenty of physical details. Without them, the whole food chain breaks down.'" (Fletcher 1992 in writingproject.com)

Learning Targets

  • I can write in a clear and detailed manner, so the reader forms mind movies when reading my writing.
  • I use physical description in my writing - color, size, shape, weight, material, condition, texture - so the reader forms "mind movies" as he reads.
  • I use sensory description in my writing - sound, smell, taste, touch - so the reader feels like she "is there."
  • I use figurative language in my writing - metaphor, simile - so it is more creative and poetic.
  • I can write descriptive essays about people, places, things or events.



Physical Description:
  • Color ... What color is it?
  • Shape ... Is it straight? Curved? Rectangular?
  • Size ... How big is it?
  • Weight ... How heavy is it?
  • Texture ... Is it smooth or rough?
  • Age ... How old is it?
  • Material ... What is it made out of?
  • Condition ... Is it new or broken?
  • Style ... Is it vintage? Contemporary?
  • Decoration ... Is it simple or ornate?

Sensory Description
  • Looks like ...
  • Sounds like ...
  • Smells like ...
  • Feels like ...
  • Tastes like ...

Organizational pattern of your writing
  • Impact: what you notice first to what you notice
  • Spatial: front to back, left to right, etc.

Figurative Language
  • Metaphor
  • Simile - She looked as if ... It was as though ...
  • Personification - What might the animal, object or scene you're describing be feeling or thinking if it were human?

Poetic Musings
  • It reminded me of ...
  • It made me wonder ...
Optional: comment for page history

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