Reflection: Unit Planning Please Show Me...Don't Tell Me: Writing Descriptive Setting Paragraphs - Section 1: Creating the Purpose


I've skipped over this section in the past but what I saw in the past lessons were students who wrote quickly without good description - many stories were really good, but they lacked the visual connections created for their readers. I changed my unit to have them add this lesson as the first part and then to have them repeat the steps in worksheets and practice at the guided reading tables to not only give students practice but to identify areas of struggle in a smaller group setting.

What I saw with this writing is that my class is getting much better with the showing vs. telling but they need prompting and revision time to get it right. That tells me that I need to have them still repeat, apply and hear this about 4-5 more times to get it to be a consistent and natural addition to their story writing. I've come to the conclusion that this is because their brains think really quickly and thus that's how they tend to write - slow and thoughtful is my mantra as they write each day. I also have been playing around with the idea of having them attend a play to see how the sets are created to help the audience visualize the setting for each of the events. I think the connection to this might help them apply more description of all they see to their own writing.  

Here's a link to a good you tube video of different backdrops used in plays. It goes really quick but I pause on various ones and ask students how they would describe the scenes in their stories or what the place, time, environment and characters were.


  why I teach this as a separate lesson
  Unit Planning: why I teach this as a separate lesson
Loading resource...

Please Show Me...Don't Tell Me: Writing Descriptive Setting Paragraphs

Unit 5: Writing Narrative Stories to Entertain Your Readers
Lesson 6 of 16

Objective: SWBAT...write strong setting paragraphs that introduce their story characters and location by using descriptive words that reveal meaning.

Big Idea: Showing readers your story details helps them "jump" into your stories. Telling them what to think leaves them feeling uninvolved.

  Print Lesson
14 teachers like this lesson
show dont tell
Similar Lessons
Assessing Our Judgments About Poetry Using CEE
9th Grade ELA » Poetry Analysis
Big Idea: How do we present our judgments about the ideas expressed in poetry? Let's CEE help us seize the day!

Environment: Urban
Donna Fletcher
Adventure Book Report
5th Grade ELA » Reports for Many Genres
Big Idea: Narrative poetry tells the story you can't wait to hear!
Scottsdale, AZ
Environment: Suburban
Heather Robinson
Real World Word Problems with Multiplication and Division (Day 1)
5th Grade Math » Multi-Digit Multiplication and Division, Powers of 10s
Big Idea: Many Real World Problems take more than one step to solve, sometimes 2 steps and sometimes more steps! Order of Operations is essential to all math work, leading to understanding of Algebraic expressions.
Seattle, WA
Environment: Urban
James Ewing
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload