Level: High intermediate – advanced
Writing Skills Focus: Describing a place.
Task: To write a spatial description from an insect’s point of view.
Step 1: Discuss the questions: If you had to live one day as an insect, what insect would you be? In what kind of place would it be most interesting? Safest?
Step 2: Read the model text.
The Ant and the Sandwich
I am a lucky ant. I climbed this big table, and on it I found a delicious sandwich. I must eat fast before the man returns for his lunch. I began at the bottom with a piece of white bread. It was soft and tasty, but the smell from above made me climb higher. On top of the bread was a piece of chicken. The meat was cold but wonderful. The taste was salty and smoky. The chicken was under a fresh tomato. It was good to eat something juicy after the chicken. I thought I was done, but then I found a slice of cheese and another slice of bread. Between the cheese and the bread was some mayonnaise. Yum! Right now I’m standing on top of the sandwich. The soft bread is a nice place to rest. I think I might have the time to eat my way down through the sandwich. But maybe I should just crawl down the side and get away before the man comes back.
Step 3: Pass out copies of the model text. Ask students to identify spatial markers: At the bottom, On top of, Between,… List additional ones on the board.
Step 4: Help students generate ideas for their own compositions. Magazine photos are great sources of inspiration. You can prepare a selection of scenes ahead of time: an office desk, a kitchen table, a bedroom closet, a train car, etc.
Step 5: Ask students to choose the objects they will describe and list them in a particular order (right to left, clockwise, from top to bottom, etc.) This will help them organize their thoughts and choose accurate vocabulary.
Step 6: Students will compose their texts using spatial markers. Supervise and assist as needed. Remind them to title their compositions accordingly.
Step 7: After an appropriate amount of revision, have students share their reports. You can post their descriptions with the accompanying photos on the board.