As a way to help students improve descriptive writing skills, I enlisted the assistance of a classic children's book: Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. There is little text in this precious story about a mischievous, little gorilla and her (or his) zoomates who sneak into the zookeeper's cozy cottage to sleep. The students individually wrote details from the action they saw on each page. Then they got into groups to refine and revise their stories. We discussed the use adjectives and adverbs, vivid descriptions of characters, the setting, and events, ways to transition from page to page or scene to scene, and delicious words ("How did you went?").
After another revision and editing, students narrated their stories and matched them with photos uploaded to Photo Story. All students' work will be put on their Google Sites when they are completed. Here is an example of a finished story that was very well written. Nice job Dyna, Phoebe, and Claire!