Empowering Writers

May 2016 K-1 Lesson of the Month

This month’s lesson reviews the three sources of elaboration, character, setting and object. The assignment will take multiple days and modeled segments.

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. First, chart for students their favorite characters, settings and objects around the school.
  2. On separate days, choose a favorite and model a descriptive paragraph about the character, setting or object. Detail-Generating questions are available on page 197 in the K-1 Guide to help develop their ideas and student responses. Modeled samples are available below.
  3. Then have students select and write about one of the characters, settings, or objects listed.
  4. Provide sentence starters for each of the samples available in the K-1 Guide page 197.
  5. Each of the student’s paragraphs can be bound together to create a great keepsake.

MODEL SAMPLE – character

I noticed the principal, Mrs. Marquez standing at the door of her office. She was dressed in a pretty leopard print blouse and a black skirt. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her fancy shoes. She had her hair pulled back in a tight bun and she smiled at the students as they filed by her entry.

MODEL SAMPLE – setting

My favorite place to be in my school is standing beside my teacher’s desk. I can’t help but notice all of her colorful pens and pencils as I perch on one foot and then the other. A tall black shelf stands against the wall beside her desk, filled with many of her favorite books. The air around her nook always smells like perfume. When it is time to go sit at my own desk, I am sad because I like her desk better.


It is not hard to believe that the math blocks are my favorite object in my school. The colorful squares help me to count and add, plus they are fun to stack. When I build a tower as tall as my knee, my friends like to knock it down. The noise of the crashing blocks is too loud for the teacher. I can’t believe there are over one hundred blocks in the plastic math tub. I was surprised to find the paint peeling off of some of the wooden cubes.