Lesson Plan:

Show Me the Adjectives!

no ratings yet
September 26, 2015
by Bruce Cabell
Download lesson plan
Click to find similar content by grade, subject, or standard.
September 26, 2015
by Bruce Cabell

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to express specific (showing) details in their writing.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that today, they will learn how to turn their telling details into showing details.
  • Ask students to define a telling detail. Ask students to define a showing detail. Define for students if they have difficulty: A telling detail is a general detail. It does not give your readers a lot of information. A showing detail is a specific detail. It gives your readers additional information and answers their questions.
  • Define additional key terms if needed.
  • Read the poem Show... Don't Tell to motivate students for the lesson.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (20 minutes)

  • Hang the poster size Adjective-Adjective-Noun organizer for students to view. Explain its contents.
  • Tell students you're going to read a story to find as many adjectives as possible. You'll list the adjectives on chart paper.
  • Begin to read your chosen story. Think aloud and list the adjectives the author used to paint a picture. You can sort the adjectives by attribute if you desire (color, size, shape, appearance, texture, etc.).
  • After reading, reread the list of adjectives. Discuss how you were able to paint a picture in your mind due to the author's choice of words.
  • Next, refer to the Adjective-Adjective-Noun organizer. Tell students you are going to paint a picture for them by recording adjectives to describe nouns (refer to the teacher example and the list of adjectives and nouns if needed).
  • Record a noun. Then, record two adjectives to describe the noun. Make sure the adjectives are precise. Complete the entire organizer.
  • Choose two examples from the organizer and write a complete sentence for each. When done, reread each sentence. Ask students if they were able to paint a picture in their mind. Take any questions or comments.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Hang a second Adjective-Adjective-Noun organizer.
  • Tell students it's their turn to paint a picture for you.
  • Choose a student to share a noun. Record it. Select another student to give you two precise adjectives to describe the noun. Ask if it makes sense.
  • Continue in the same manner until the organizer is completed.
  • Choose a student to select an example to form a complete sentence. Choose another student to do the same. Reread each sentence to make sure it's precise and makes sense.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Before allowing them to work independently, ask students if they understand the Adjective-Adjective-Noun organizer.
  • Reread the Show… Don't Tell poem a second time to motivate students to work independently.
  • Pass out a copy of the Adjective-Adjective-Noun organizer and a list of simple adjectives and nouns. Tell students they will complete the same organizer you modeled for them. Encourage them to use the list of adjectives and nouns.
  • Tell your students to choose two examples from their organizer to write two complete sentences for.
  • Instruct your students to walk back to their desks/tables and begin.



  • Enrichment: Students who are above level can be encouraged to complete the organizer without the help of the adjective and noun list.
  • Support: Students who need direction and support can be paired with students who show strength in writing. Have these students to use only one adjective to describe each noun.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • As students are working independently, walk around and check in with each student.
  • Observe to see if students are completing the Adjective-Adjective-Noun organizer accurately or having difficulty with the process.
  • Record your observations.
  • If additional time is needed for assessment, make observations and notes during closing.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Divide class into pairs or groups of three. Each will share their written examples and sentences.
  • Select three students to read their examples and sentences to the class. Have the audience share questions and comments.
  • Next, ask students what they have to include to paint a picture for their readers.
  • To end the lesson, read the Show... Don't Tell poem one more time.

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely