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Spark writers with images
August 19, 2013
Inspired by John Stoffel’s Fall-Walk Sentence contest, fifth grade teacher Barb Mahnesmith, Prairie Trace Elementary (Carmel, IN), challenged her students to write descriptive paragraphs based on images of doors.
Barb collected images of doors from around the world ranging from realistic to fanciful. She created a PowerPoint presentation featuring one door per slide. Some of the images were even in black and white, which will require descriptive details beyond color (e.g., dimension, shapes, sizes, etc.).
After showing students all of the images, Barb allowed each student to select a favorite image. One student didn’t find what he was looking for in the images provided, so he went online to find a picture of a castle door. Barb added that to her presentation, too.
Barb displayed the PPT presentation (PDF version) and allowed it to loop while students were writing. This provided an ongoing visual stimulus in case they got stuck while writing. The students loved the assignment, which is evident from the resulting student samples.