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Writing Rocks—June 2018 Calendar


posted: Sat, Feb 16th, 2019

Exploring the five senses in the kitchen

A group of Dina Carmelengo’s students brought the sights, smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds of the kitchen to life in their recent descriptive essays. The third-graders wrote about the “creamy goodness of the spinach dip,” “the beeping of the microwave,” the smell of different spices, and the feel of hardwood flooring under foot. 

Many students also included snippets of conversations they’ve heard in their kitchens.

“The kitchen is the place that kids are most familiar with that lets them experience all five senses so powerfully,” Mrs. Carmelengo said.

The veteran educator methodically guided students through the writing process and stressed the important skills involved. Each student wrote a paragraph on each of the five senses, had a coaching session with Mrs. Carmelengo for feedback, carefully worked on a strong opening and a strong conclusion, and was careful to employ the wisdom of the old writing adage “Show, don’t tell.”  

To give them a sense of place and help them vividly imagine their homes, Mrs. Carmelengo also asked students to build dioramas of their kitchens.

The students wrote their essays in Google Docs using laptops. When the essays were completed, the kids presented their work to their classmates. 

“Knowing that they would present their work to others helped students remember throughout the process that they were not writing for themselves, they were writing for others and to be clearly understood,” said Mrs. Carmelengo. “Sharing with their peers truly gave them a sense of pride and ownership of their work.”

Descriptive writing is an important component of the third-grade language arts curriculum.

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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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