Why work on describing?
Describing with details helps a child be specific about the different attributes of an item. This can help students with comparing and contrasting, using details in their writing, and increasing their vocabularies.
First off, I must give credit where credit is due. This wonderful activity is used by the teachers in my sons’ school to improve the details in their students’ writing. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you.
The set up
Find pictures of three or four dogs that look different from each other and display them. An easy way to do this is to find a calendar with pictures of dogs and take a few of the pages out. (These can often be found on sale during the second half of the year or at a “dollar store” at the beginning of the year.) Have a blank piece of paper and pencil available for each student.
Let the describing begin
Start out by discussing the dogs and what they look like. Have the students describe the color, size, ears, nose, etc. of each dog. You may want to write the words that they come up with next to the dog’s picture.
Tell them that the sad news is that their dogs have wondered off in the neighborhood and they need help finding them. They each need to make a “Lost Dog” sign describing what their dog looks like so that their neighbors will know which dog belongs to them. When they are finished, have the children read their descriptions to the group. The group then guesses which dog belongs to that owner.