1.)Ask students to use productive thinking to list many, varied, and unusual things they MIGHT see on the way to or from school.
2.)Read Dr. Seuss' And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
3.)Discuss the story, using probing questions from the Discussion Questions PowerPoint presentation.
The Discussion Questions presentation is set up to enable the teacher to use it at his/her own pace; mouse click to bring up each element of each page.
4.)Acquaint the students with Dragnet's Sergeant Joe Friday's "Just the facts, ma'am" style. Discuss the following with the students:
Why is dealing with just the facts important sometimes?
When is this essential?
5.)Ask students to think of something they actually saw on the way to or from school recently. Have them write descriptive paragraphs in Joe Friday's just-the-facts style.
6.)Read the passage from Cervantes' Don Quixote
where Don Quixote tilts at windmills because he imagines they are giants. (It may be best to summarize the passage.)
Discuss why it is important to be open to imagination and possibilities.
)Don Quixote tilting-at-windmills passage.
7.)Using the same observation, ask students to write another paragraph from Don Quixote's they-might-be-giants point of view. Remind them of the way Marco built up his simple observation in his imagination.
Encourage students to use figurative language in their descriptions.
8.)Have students self-monitor their writing using a rubric. Work with students to identify and correct errors in spelling and grammar.
9.)When final drafts of paragraphs have been approved, let the students prepare PowerPoint slides presenting their contrasting descriptions.
(Attached Descriptive Paragraphs PowerPoint presentation can be used as a template.)