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Expressive Words: A First Grade Language Arts Lesson

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 7/29/2013

“Please don’t kill it. It’s unfair," she sobbed. We can certainly sense Fern’s feelings in the book Charlotte’s Web when her father is ready to get rid of the weak little piglet. In this lesson students will search for expressions in reading material that convey feelings and appeal to the senses.

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    Words Expressing Feelings: 1st Grade Lesson With the implementation of the Common Core Standards students are being taught to read more critically and have a deeper understanding of what they are reading. They must be able to share their thoughts with examples to back it up. Because of this, students are delving deeper into the different elements of a story such as setting, characterization and sequence of events. In addition to these elements the students will work on identifying words or phrases, which imply feelings or those that appeal to the senses. Then these types of words can be incorporated into their writing.

    Objectives:

    1.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

    2. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

    Materials and Preparation:

    • Choose a variety of books that fit all the specific reading levels of your students.
    • Find some words or phrases in some of your favorite books to use as examples.
    • Book: Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
    • Book: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
    • Homework paper for each student (download here)
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    Lesson Procedure:

    • Say, “Today I am going to read a book called Old Bear and I want you to listen for special words. You know about our five senses. Listen for words that would excite your senses."
    • Read the book. Then go back and talk about some of the descriptions such as, “The world was covered in ice. It was night and the sky was blazing with stars of all colors. The cold went on forever."
    • Now pick up some of the books you have selected. Say, “There are many words that tell us how a person feels. These are special words, too. Listen for these feeling words while I read." Then give your own examples.
    • List some examples of words that express feelings on the board. Explain to your students that these words tell us so much more than if you used words like “said" or “replied". We knew that Fern was upset in Charlotte’s Web when she shrieked, sobbed and yelled.

    Activity:

    Divide your students into small groups and provide them with books based on their reading level. Ask each group to find five words that they think express feelings or excite our senses.

    Then gather together to discuss the words and write them on the board.

    Finally have the students choose two of the words and write a sentence for each word.

    Homework:

    Send the students home with their worksheet. They will work with their parents to find words expressing emotion in books at home. Then they will write a sentence using the word.

References

  • Henkes, Kevin. Old Bear.  Greenwillow Books, 2008.
  • White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. Harper Collins, 2006.

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