INFORM – EXPLAIN – DESCRIBE MODULE OF WORK DESCRIPTIVE WRITING SUE JACKSON HOLLINS TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE Descriptive writing. Senses Adjectives Colour Use figures of speech ; similes and metaphors. Describe a fair ground at night. Remember to bring the scene to life by using your senses – what can you see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Use good describing words and use colour to bring the scene to life. Try to use similes and metaphors in your response. Plan your work carefully, make lists for each of your senses, list suitable adjectives and colours. INFORM – EXPLAIN – DESCRIBE LESSON ONE. Objectives – 9SL2; 9R2; 9WO7; 9SE6; 9SE9 Starter What does the word describe mean? Brainstorm on the board. What do we call describing words? Development Put on the overhead projector the poem ‘The Closed School.’ Pupils’ will have own copies too. Pupils’ to recognise descriptive words in the poem and underline. Ask which of the five senses has the poet used? Go through each verse and identify. Define the word supernatural. Would we usually associate a school with the supernatural? Ask for examples of other places not usually associated with the supernatural. Set Task Write a ghostly description of your chosen place. Select your words very carefully to create the right atmosphere. Remember to use paragraphs, punctuate properly and vary your sentence structure. Rough and neat drafts for homework. Plenary – What did you learn about good descriptive writing? Lesson Plan Two – ‘Polperro.’ Objectives : 9W5, 9W9; 9SL7; 9WO2; 9WO7; 9SE3; 9SE9_ Starter Re – cap last lesson what did you learn about descriptive writing? Development Read ‘Polperro.’ Ask pupils, in pairs, to identify adjectives in the text. Feed back. What impression do you get about Polperro from the text? Link to the triplet : INFORM – EXPLAIN – DESCRIBE Set Task Stress the necessity to use the bullet points – remind pupils that examiners often include bullet points and when they mention that you could mention the following what they actually mean is that you should! Remember to think carefully about the language you use; use your senses and bring the place to life using colour. Take care to use paragraphs, punctuate properly and vary your sentence structure. Plenary What did you learn about how to describe a place. Complete task for homework. Lesson Plan Three : Describe a fair ground at night. Objectives : 9SL2; 9SE3; 9SE9; 9W3. Starter – recap last lesson, reinforcing what makes a place come alive – good descriptive writing. Remind pupils about the triplet: INFORM - EXPLAIN - DESCRIBE Development As well as using good adjectives, colour and your senses, figures of speech can also be used. Ask for examples of similes for the sun and the moon. Example – The sun is like a yellow balloon. The moon is like a giant light bulb in the sky. Ask for examples of metaphors for the sun and the moon. Example – The sun is a yellow balloon. The moon is a giant light bulb. Look at the sheets – a good way of remembering what to include in your descriptions is S.A.C. representing senses, adjectives and colour. Also F.O.S. representing figures of speech. Plan carefully for the task – Describe a fun fair at night Use the sheet for your planning. Plenary How can figures of speech improve your descriptive writing? . Lesson Plan Four : ‘The Snack-Bar.’ Objectives : 9SL2; 9SL7; 9R7; 9W3; 9W5; 9W16; 9WO7; 9SE9 Starter – recap last three lessons. Explain the purpose of the lesson to re-write a poem as the main character in it, appreciating the poet’s use of descriptive writing. Development Read ‘The Snack Bar’. Ask for pupils reactions.to the content of the poem. Have the poem on the overhead projector on the whiteboard and ask various pupils to underline the adjectives, use of senses, colour and figures of speech in the poem. Set task : Retell the whole incident from knocking over the cup to getting on the bus from the old man’s point of view. Underline everything he does. Remember the old man is blind and so his senses will be heightened. Plan Begin rough drafts and complete for homework. Plenary How did Edwin Morgan make this poem so powerful? Lesson Plan Five – ‘The Ratcatcher.’ Objectives : 9SL2; 9SL7; 9R7; 9W5; 9W16; 9WO2; 9SE6; 9SE9. Starter Recap previous lessons in this module. Reinforce triplet : INFORM – EXPLAIN – DESCRIBE Development Read the extract by Roald Dahl and ask for pupils immediate reactions to it. Why did they feel this way? How does Dahl create suspense and tension when he is describing what the ratcatcher did? Write pupils responses on the whiteboard. Set task – Using appropriate language describe a similar happening. Remember to vary your language; use effective describing words and vary your sentence structure for effect. Before pupils begin their rough drafts discuss appropriate endings - cliffhanger; twist in the tale or resolution. Pupils to plan their work carefully and write their rough drafts. Plenary What did you learn about creating suspense and tension in a text? Lesson Plan Six – ‘Macbeth’ Act 1, Sc 3 Act 3, Sc 1 Objectives : 9SL13; 9SL7; 9R2; 9R7; 9R12; 9W3; 9WO7; 9SE7; 9SE9. Starter – Reinforce the triplet INFORM – EXPLAIN _ DESCRIBE. Recap both scenes. Development Look at Act I, Scene three – what do we learn about Macbeth in this scene. Brainstorm on the white board. Look at Act three, scene one – what do we learn about Macbeth in this scene. Brainstorm on the white board. Using this information and prior knowledge of these key scenes answer the following question : Describe the different emotions displayed by Macbeth in these scenes. Remember to give both scenes equal weighting in your response. P.E.E. Make your point. Give evidence. Explain it. Plenary – What did you learn about Macbeth’s character? In The Snack-Bar A cup capsizes along the formica, slithering with a dull clatter. A few heads turn in the crowded evening snack-bar. An old man is trying to get to his feet from the low round stool fixed to the floor. Slowly he levers himself up, his hands have no power. He is up as far as he can get. The dismal hump looming over him forces his head down. He stands in his stained beltless gabardine like a monstrous animal caught in a tent In some story. He sways slightly, the face not seen, bent down in shadow under his cap. Even on his feet he is staring at the floor or would be if he could see. I notice now his stick, once painted white but scuffed and muddy, hanging from his right arm. Long blinded, hunchback born, half paralysed he stands fumbling with the stick and speaks: ‘I want - to go to the - toilet.’ It is down two flights of stairs, but we go, I take his arm. ’Give me –your arm – it’s better,’ he says. Inch by inch we drift towards the stairs. A few yards of the floor are like a landscape to be negotiated, in the slow setting out time has almost stopped. I concentrate my life to his: crunch of spilt sugar, Slidy puddle from the night’s umbrellas, table edges, people’s feet, hiss of the coffee machine, voices and laughter, smell of cigar, hamburgers, wet coats steaming, and the slow dangerous inches to the stairs. I put his right hand on the rail and take his stick. He clings to me. The stick in his left hand, probing the treads. I guide his arm and tell him the steps. And slowly we go down. And slowly we go down. White tiles and mirrors at last. He shambles uncouth into the clinical gleam. I set him in position, stand behind him and wait with his stick. His brooding reflection darkens the mirror but the trickle of his water is thin and slow, An old man’s apology for living. Painful ages to close his trousers and coat – I do up the last buttons for him. He asks doubtfully, ‘Can I – wash my hands?’ I fill the basin, clasp his soft fingers round the soap. He washes, feebly, patiently. There is no towel. I press the pedal of the drier, draw his hands gently into the roar of the hot air. But he cannot rub them together, drags out a handkerchief to finish. He is glad to leave the contraption, and face the stairs. He climbs, and steadily enough. He climbs, we climb. He climbs with many pauses but with that one persisting patience of the undefeated which is the nature of man when all is said. And slowly we go up. The faltering, unfaltering steps take him at last to the door across endless waste of floor. I watch him helped on a bus. It shudders off in the rain. The conductor bends to hear where he wants to go. Wherever he could go it would be dark and yet he must trust men. Without embarrassment or shame he must announce his most pitiful needs in a public place. No one sees his face. Does he know how frightening he is in his strangeness under the mountainous coat, his hands like wet leaves stuck to the half-white stick? His life depends on many who would evade him. But he cannot reckon up the chances having one thing to do., to haul his blind hump through these rains of August. Dear Christ to be born for this! Polperro Polperro was a village of whitewashed cottages tumbled together in a rocky ravine on the sea. The streets were as narrow as alleys and a few of them could take motor vehicles. I saw a full sized bus try to make it down one street – hopeless. At best, one small car could inch down one street knocking petals off geraniums in the windowboxes on either side. When two cars met head-on there was usually an argument over who was to reverse to let the other pass. The loathing for tourists and outsiders in Cornwall was undisguised. I had a feeling that it was the tourists who had made the Cornish nationalistic, for no one adopted a funny native costume quicker or talked more intimidatingly of local tradition than the local person under siege by tourists. Polperro was a pretty funnel but with the narrowest neck, so there was nowhere to go but the tiny harbour. It was true that the Cornish derived most of their income from tourists; but there was no contradiction in the way they both welcomed and disliked us at the same time. Natives always had very sound reasons for disliking outsiders; the Cornish fishermen had nothing whatsoever to do with tourists, but the other Cornish were farming people and treated tourists like livestock – feeding them, fencing them in, and getting them to move to new pastures. We were cumbersome burdens, a great headache most of the time, but at the end of the day there was some profit in us. 1. Explain what you think the writer feels about Polperro. You should comment on: Whether he makes the village seem attractive or unpleasant. Which words in his description give you this impression. 2. What impression does the writer give of the attitude of Polperro residents towards tourists and outsiders: You should comment on : The way visitors are treated by locals; The words the writer uses to describe the treatment of visitors. Extension task : Describe a place you have enjoyed visiting. Write about : Why you like it; Any specific memories of the place; Why you would recommend other people to visit it. In ‘Macbeth’ the three witches are supernatural characters. Read the following poem and then attempt the writing task which follows. The Closed Shop Under the silvering light of the cold, tall sky, Where stars are like glimmering ice and the moon rides high, Bolted and locked since the war by long-dead hands, Next to the shadowy church, the closed school stands. A village school, in the grip of frost and the past, Its classrooms airless as tombs, its corridors waste; Behind boarded windows barely an insect crawls On the spreading atlas that is staining ceiling and walls. Here is the stillness of death. Listen hard as you can, There’s not one sound to be heard that is noisier than The creeping of mould, or the crumbling of masonary Into a fine floor-dust, soft and powdery. Only deeper than silence, at the far end of listening, Come feet in the corridors, silver voices that ring In the raftered hall, and outside, where the frost freezes hard, Brittle laughter of children snowballing in the yard. Raymond Wilson. Think about other places which are not usually associated with the supernatural – perhaps a fire station, or a bank, or a park. Write a ghostly description of your chosen place. Select your words very carefully to create the right atmosphere. ‘The Ratcatcher’ from ‘Someone like You’ by Roald Dahl. Two men have employed a ratcatcher to clear a strawstack which is overrun with rats. After failing to poison the rats he bets the men that he can kill one rat without using his hands. He ties a large sewer rat by one leg to a car windscreen wiper. He puts his hands in his pockets and brings his face level with the rat which is sitting on the bonnet of a car. It tried to struggle back further against the string, jerking its leg to free it. The man leaned forward towards the rat following it with his face, watching it all the time with his eyes, and suddenly the rat panicked and leaped sideways in the air. The string pulled it up with a jerk that must have almost dislocated its leg. It crouched again, in the middle of the bonnet, as far away as the string would allow, and it properly was frightened now, whiskers quivering, the long grey body tense with fear. At this point, the ratman again began to move his face closer. Very slowly he did it, so slowly there wasn’t really any movement to be seen at all except that the face just happened to be a fraction closer each time you looked. He never took his eyes from the rat. The tension was considerable and I wanted to cry out and tell him to stop. I wanted him to stop because it was making me feel sick inside, but I couldn’t bring myself to say a word. Something extremely unpleasant was about to happen – I was sure of that. Something sinister and cruel and ratlike, and perhaps it really would make me sick. But I had to see it now. The ratman’s face was about eighteen inches from the rat. Twelve inches. Then ten, or perhaps it was eight, and then there was not more than a man’s hand separating their faces. The rat was pressing its body flat against the car bonnet, tense and terrified. The ratman was also tense, but with a dangerous active tensity that was like a tight-wound spring. The shadow of a smile flickered around the skin of his mouth. Then suddenly he struck. He struck as a snake strikes, darting his head forward with one knifelike stroke that originated in the muscles of the lower body, and I had a momentary glimpse of his mouth opening very wide and two yellow teeth and the whole face contorted by the effort of mouth-opening. More than that I did not care to see. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them again the rat was dead and the ratman was slipping the money into his pocket and spitting to clear his mouth.