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Michael Berman

LESSON PLAN OUTLINE

TITLE OF LESSON

Smell, Visualize, Write


CONTEXT OF LESSON
This is the third lesson in a series of three (3) visualization lessons. This lesson is designed to activate students prior
knowledge to use in the creation of a short story book. The last two lessons introduced the students to the concept of
visualization and allowed them multiple opportunities to practice showing their visualizations. This lesson will switch
view points and allow the students to be the illustrators and writers of a lesson that others will visualize.
OBJECTIVES AND ASSESSMENT
Developmental Objectives

Assessment

1. The students will write a story about


a prior memory that is written using
descriptive, details words.

I will collect the stories and analyze them for descriptive words and phrases.
Further analysis and assessment will be done in my reflections.

2. The students will illustrate their


stories on the back of their papers.
These illustrations should match the
details in their stories.

I will compare the students drawings with the words and phrases that they
use to describe them. I will look for main and supporting details that are both
written in their stories and shown in their illustrations. Further analysis and
assessment will be done in my reflections.

RELATED VIRGINIA STANDARDS OF LEARNING


VA English SOLs
3.1The student will use effective communication skills in group activities.
e) Increase listening and speaking vocabularies.
3.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional text and poetry.
i) Identify the main idea.
j) Identify supporting details.
3.9 The student will write for a variety of purposes.
e) Use strategies for organization of information and elaboration according to the type of writing.
f) Include details that elaborate the main idea.

MATERIALS NEEDED
Various Scent Cubes
Blank Paper
Writing Journals
Colored writing utensils
Pencils

PROCEDURE
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Preparation of learning environment


For this lesson I will need to have brought all of my materials. I will have a short break before the
students return from PE. During this time I will be able to assemble my materials and lay them on
the students desks.
Engagement and introduction of the lesson
Today we will be doing another lesson on visualization, except this time you all will start as the
authors. We will take turns smelling the various scent cubes on the tables. Once you have smelled
the cubes, think of a memory of which that scent reminds you. Focus on writing detailed,
descriptive sentences and words that help the reader visualize your memory. Lets go over some of
the details and descriptors from the last two lessons. [Write them on the board] After we write our
stories/memories we will switch with a neighbor and then illustrate what they have written. You
want to be as descriptive as you can be so that they know what to draw!
Implementation of the lesson
The students will have three minutes to interact with the scent cubes and visualize a memory for
their stories. After these three minutes, the students will have ~15 minutes to write their books. I
will help anyone who has a question or appears to be struggling. I will refer back to the list of
words we created, as a class, if a student needs help with vocabulary. I will also ask probing
questions to make the students think more critically about their visualization and the elements that
will help them write a detailed story.
After the students have written their stories they will swap with a neighbor. Next, they will read
the story that they now have and illustrate it based on the details and events described. They will
have about 5-7 minutes to draw.

Closure and Clean-up


After the students have finished illustrating, the students will share their stories (and the
illustrations that go along) with the class. As a class we will talk about what words or phrases the
reader chose that helped the illustrator to draw. If the student provides new detailed words we will
add them to our list which is stored in their writing journals. After we share we will have a final
discussion about how our writing can influence how people view our stories based on the words
we choose.
Differentiation
When I notice a gap between students, in terms of amount written, I will do one of two things. If
only a hand full of students are starting to finish I will talk to them individually, read their
stories and have a conversation with them about what they could add or how they can be more
clear in their writing. If it becomes more 50-50 on the finishing and still working I will give a
general statement asking them to go back and analyze their work. I will proceed to go person to
person, but at this point students will already be trying to find places they can add more detail. I
can gauge students stage based on informal checks (give me a thumbs up if you are almost done
writing your first draft or by walking around and listening/observing their behaviors).

Reflection
I think that this lesson went very well. Bonnie made an unannounced, surprise visit for this
lesson. She confirmed some of my positives, but also assured me of some things I was not
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confident about. For example, she said that I gave them the perfect amount of time to pass the
cubes around and keep swapping and smelling them. I had felt that it might have gone a bit long,
but it was refreshing to hear her say it was just right. I think that the lesson was more important
than some of the other teachers who overheard it or stopped in may have thought. I think that
smell is the one sense that we seem to rarely engage in the classroom. I purposefully based the
final lesson on smell to try to bridge a gap between that sense and creativity.
The students were very hyper this day, but the combination of soothing scents, me turning
down the lights and then putting on smooth jazz really brought a calmness over the class almost
immediately. It felt and smelled like a coffee shop or an evening around Christmas; all that was
missing was a warm fire. The students reacted so positively to this atmosphere that I have decided
to begin creating Jazz, Classical and other playlists for different academic activities.

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