|Painted Pictures of an Evolutionary
Paradise: How do you paint pictures with words?
Grade level: 3-6
Arts, Art, Music
Estimated Time of Completion:
2-3 class sessions beyond the viewing of The
Living Edens: Madagascar
II. Tools and Materials Needed
IV. Procedures and Activities
V. Assessment Suggestions
VII. Web Resources
By the end of this activity, students will be able to:
- Examine elements of style, including word choice, tone,
voice and sentence variation, and look at their effect on the reader/listener
- Organize writing to convey a specific idea
- Demonstrate comprehension of a variety of phrases by
paraphrasing content of selection, identifying important ideas and providing details for
each important idea through words or art
- Create descriptive sentences that contain imagery
Tools and Materials Needed
- Copy of the program The Living Edens: Madagascar
- VCR with pause capabilities
- paper and pencil
- worksheet (available online)
- drawing/painting materials if desired
This lesson correlates to the following national Language
Arts standards for grades 3-6 as established by The Mid-continent Regional Educational
Laboratory at www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/:
- Evaluates own and others' writing (e.g., identifies the
best features of a piece of writing, determines how own writing achieves its purposes,
asks for feedback, responds to classmates' writing)
- Writes expressive compositions (e.g., expresses ideas,
reflections, and observations; uses an individual, authentic voice; uses narrative
strategies, relevant details, and ideas that enable the reader to imagine the world of the
event or experience)
- Uses descriptive language that clarifies and enhances ideas
IV. Procedures and Activities:Session 1: Students view the video, The
Living Edens: Madagascar, listening for phrases that paint pictures in their minds as they
listen. After viewing the video, a class list is generated and students take turns
describing what personal meaning the words have for them.
Session 2: Choose one of the descriptions
from the worksheet [link to activity sheet] to discuss in
detail in class. Students talk about the pictures that come to mind or draw pictures that
show what theyre thinking as they hear phrases such as "roots to the sky,"
"ultimate fortress" or "towering pinnacles." Students use the
worksheet and answer the questions, with either words or pictures. They then share their
products in small groups or with the class.
Session 3: Students choose something they
have seen in nature, at the zoo, or on the Living Edens Web site to write about, using
descriptive phrases to "put pictures in the minds" of their readers.
V. Assessment Recommendations
- Look at the writings the students have done. Students could
share their work with the class.
- If pictures were done on day 2, these could be displayed on
a bulletin board.
- Put students in groups of two or three. Writings from the
students could be exchanged and each student could then paraphrase what s/he read to show
their understanding. They could also draw pictures of each other's writings to compare the
pictures the imagery creates.
- Listen to classical music and have students draw or paint
to it. Then, compare the ability of words and music to put pictures in your
- Read other poetry and have students describe the types of
pictures that come to mind.
- Compare different types of figurative
languagesimiles, metaphors, etc.
(Note: these links will take you away from PBS
Glossary of Poetic Terms
Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum's
new National Poetry Contest
Creative Writing For Kids
KidzPage! Poetry and Verse for Children of All Ages
Poetry For Kids
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