Descriptive Writing Via Relational Teaching Makes Distance Learning More Engaging!

Posted by Admin on May 05, 2020 at 9:15 AM

By Melody Barclay, Linden Teacher

During times of uncertainty, it can be reassuring to reflect on our lives and appreciate moments of peace or special memories. It can also help ground us as we navigate uncharted waters during the pandemic. As part of our relational teaching approach at Linden, I have been encouraging students to use personal experiences in their most recent writing project. Knowing that individual voices matter to girls, I designed the assignment to engage students in their course work, while promoting a strong sense of community, solidarity and fun.

About the Assignment:

The girls were asked to look through their baby photos and select one where they could centre themselves as a topic for the writing assignment. Students wrote multiple drafts, each time creating a more descriptive paragraph about the moment captured in their selected photo. Students worked on their independent editing skills, and practised using adjectives and strong verbs to help their readers better visualize the scenes they described. Check out their work below and their very adorable baby photos! See if you can guess who’s who before taking a look at the author’s name!

A Victoria Vacation

By Alina, Grade 5

This photo takes place in August 2011. I am on an exciting vacation in Victoria, B.C. with my Dad’s side of the family. I am about 1 and ½ years old; my mom was pregnant with my younger sister Nora at the time. I’m relaxing on a big, sandy beach with a HUGE smile on my adorable little face. Behind me, there is an enormous blue ocean. I’m dressed in a light pink and white sweater, and jeans with pink flowers on them. In my hands, I clutch a shiny seashell that I spotted in the sand. It’s probably why I’m cheerful, and grinning so much.

A Selfie with Captain America and Wolverine

By Ugbath, Grade 4

So I was a sweet little girl who was around 4 years old or 5 years old. That day was a sunny day because it was summer. In that summer, there was an amazing carnival near my house. When we went to the carnival we saw some people taking selfies with two heroic superheroes and a villain. So I think that we wanted to take a selfie and so we did. We had a blast taking a selfie with Captain America and Wolverine. The mean villain was DARTH VADER! There was a photographer who shot the photo. He did a terrific job! When I looked at my face it was funny looking at how I was doing it. When I think about my face I may have been doing that because the bright sun was in my eyes. The pink shirt that I was wearing was one of my favourite shirts and the pants I don’t really remember about it.

Learning How to Sit Up All By Myself

By Olivia, Grade 5

In the blazing hot summer of 2009, I was just learning how to sit up all by myself. So I would balance between my dad's feet. They were the size of me! We were reading a book. Nobody remembers what the book was. It kind of looked like a travel book. Who knows. I was wearing an adorable navy and white striped dress. My mom had the exact same one just not adorable. We loved twinning. Oh, and my mom’s was bigger. I was in my parents' bedroom on their bed. My mom took the stunning picture. My parents have always had a white bed with even more books. Thicker ones too. I probably had a smirk on my face after I liked his toes and my mom probably chuckled. Oh and don’t worry, I don’t have any teeth so his toes aren’t in any danger!

Reptilia Birthday Party

By Quinn, Grade 4

My awesome baby photo was taken at my older cousin Ryan's birthday party at Reptilia. My cousins Megan and Blake were there too. My brother Grayson was there too but he was too young to be in the picture. I saw my cousins and the beautiful, long, green feisty snake. And I also saw my cousin's friends. I tasted the amazing and tasty birthday cake and the cheese pizza. I saw the beautiful and colourful face paint on people's faces. I heard the snake hissing and I heard the kids saying Cheese for the Reptilia group picture. I felt the scaly snake and my cousin Ryan because he was sitting beside me. I was the youngest there. I felt like I wanted to get in the photo but I struggled to get in.