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Observe Closely

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From The Writing Strategies Book (Serravalo, 2017), Observe Closely is an ideation strategy for creating and collecting writing ideas.


The primary goal of this strategy is developing vivid and precise descriptive language while also providing opportunities to practice literary devices.

To begin, ask students to look about the room and pick an object to write about. Instruct students to observe the object with all five senses (though best to imagine some of the senses rather than test them all literally). The teacher should model this activity by writing alongside students on screen, especially in terms of modeling how to write about all five senses.

Author Jennifer Serravalo suggests bringing some especially strange or uncommon objects to scatter about the room as well. Additionally, teachers could ask students to bring an odd object from home for the day to display as an option for others to write about.

This task can easily be an at-home or field trip activity, as well.

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