Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Teaching Perspective Through Photos

Wow! You know how sometimes you “try out” a new lesson and everything just clicks? That was our day today!
I’ve been wanting to teach perspective, point of view. I came across these beautiful pictures of a tree I had taken a few weeks ago, perfect for spring. The pictures are all of the same tree, taken from different angles. I gave each pair or trio of students a different picture and they wrote descriptive paragraphs about the specific shot they had. They included specific adjectives and adverbs. The paragraphs were decent.

Then I remembered a poetry lesson I read about yesterday on Mossy Oak Musings, using the simple writing frame, “I See.” We began again. Students listed what they saw in their picture: I see white blossoms, I see rough, cracked bark, etc. Next, they crossed out all the “I see” and were left with just the descriptions.
We discussed the difference between poetry and prose, reading our words that were left. Many of them simplified them further, crossing out articles and other unnecessary words that interrupted the poem’s flow.
This simple strategy elicited some beautiful poetry! My kids loved how their poems turned out! You can grab these same photos as a freebie here.
I had also taken multiple perspective pictures of Francisco Zúñiga’s statue, "Mother and Daughter Seated.” This is part of an open air art movement in San Diego, California. Several statues have been moved out of museums and placed in Old Town Plaza’s courtyard for the public to enjoy. This particular statue sits under the shade of some trees, as if they are sitting, resting. I gave pairs of students these photos also and did the same “I See” writing assignment.
Download your copy of these photos here and read their lyrical writing!
How do you elicit descriptive, emotional writing from your students? I'd love to hear your strategies!

Happy National Poetry Month!

8 comments:

  1. Great idea to pivot to poetry after the descriptive paragraphs left you wanting more. Love your kids' poems; they are so beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Kerry!! The kids were so pleased with their poems, too & the poetry format was unique.

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  2. Great idea for a lesson! I am just starting a poetry unit and can't wait to try it.

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    1. Oh good! Be sure to download the photos! I'd love to read some of your students' finished work!

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  3. I love this idea for poetry! Thanks for sharing. Definitely adding this to my list of poems for my class to write this year :)
    Cait's Cool School

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    1. I know; me, too!! And the funny thing is it's not even how I intended the lesson! Lol

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  4. You made my night! I'm so glad you were able to use my idea from my blog post. I LOVE the photos you used and downloaded them and left feedback. You students' writing is beautiful. Thank you! TRacy at Mossy Oak Musings

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    1. Awww. . . thanks, Tracy! Your post inspired this lesson! Thank you!!

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