This week I did the Fifteen Sentence Portrait writing activity with a fourth grade class. We wrote our descriptions one sentence at a time. Afterwards, we reflected on our writing experience. Students said they found it easy to focus on one sentence at a time, and the cues helped them practice some of the strategies we have tried before, such as using vivid descriptions and vocabulary, using similes, and varying sentence patterns. Some of the authors shared their writing with the class. Here is a student’s tribute to his grandmother, written and shared with the class during this activity…
In this memory she is missed by everone in my family. She loved snack on white shugery things. She had eyes as green as grass. She smelled as fresh as a rose. I loved her so much she was my best friend she was loved throw out my family and she alwase will be. She was alwase nice to everyone. She was alwase wearing regular close like everyone esle in my family. I just wish she would come back from the hevans. She was alwase a all animal person but she espesily loved cats. We would alwase play with each other when i saw her. She butiful, smart, and cool. She alwase had raindow colord grape or strawbarrey smellig popsicle. Her hair was as brown as fall leaves. She would yell AHHH!!! somtimes. When she died i had the blues.
The classroom teacher and I were moved to tears as the student read his writing to the class. His classmates, listening, were very quiet, and then they applauded as he finished. We witnessed the power of words.