Objective: To use enhance writing and punctuation through textured art mediums.
Age: 5 – 9
Time: 30-45 minutes (writing varies)
Grades: Kindergarten – 3
- Elbow macaroni
- Corn kernel
- Lined paper
- Glue or tape
- Markers or Crayons or Paint
- Construction paper
Macaroni and corn kernels are fun art mediums with texture and dimension. You can use them for various things such as periods, commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, skeletons, backbones, or any other visual enhancement. What fun!
1. Choose a topic that could use macaroni or even corn kernels.
2. Illustrate/sketch the topic on light or white colored paper.
3. Add color, using crayons and colored pencils, or paint if you’d prefer
4. Be sure to leave the area blank where you plan on gluing so the macaroni and corn kernels stick easily. Touch up with color again, if needed.
5. Trim the picture and/or glue it to a colored background, enhancing the visual.
6. Use lined paper for your writing, edit, and complete a final copy in marker or just type.
7. Attach the final copy and visual together and present orally to others.
In the above example, Kathleen is a 2nd grader who learned about fish as vertebrates. She created her picture and wrote an acrostic poem, using facts she brainstormed in class.
Allow the children to use macaroni and kernels as a ‘textured’ visual. You may decide to paint the macaroni to emphasize the punctuation taught.
1. Use colored sentence strips or construction paper to write sentences large enough to glue macaroni as commas, quotation marks, or apostrophes.
2. Trace your sentence(s) in marker.
3. You can have students use macaroni for all the punctuations in the same sentence or focus on one punctuation mark at a time.
4. You can use corn kernels for periods, semi colons and colons as well.
5. Attach writing to construction paper to add detail.
Decide the focus of your writing lesson. Are you focusing on writing content or conventions/ punctuations? The point of using visual imagery is to create an inspired motivation for your students before their writing occurs. Allow your students to create and orally present their writing. Perhaps you can assess for presentation skills, the use of descriptive sentences, or comprehension of subject matter. Create a checklist of various objectives or skills you are looking for and be sure to make the students aware of your expectations.
Other Ways To Use This Lesson
Macaroni and corn kernels are great to use for skeletons and backbones. Using these mediums adds texture and dimension to your science lessons and can enhance your student’s descriptive language as well. Have your students write descriptive sentences, research facts, write riddles, or informational paragraphs to augment your topics. Using poetry would be a lot of fun too. When using these mediums for punctuation, you may want to consider focusing on ‘one’ at a time. Allow the children to write and embellish their sentences with the mediums and illustrate each sentence to highlight the details. Perhaps you can create a ready-made paragraph in larger ‘font’ without punctuation. Just have the kids complete the paragraph with the mediums, showing their conceptual understanding. You might enjoy using colored macaroni as well. Attach the writing to colored paper and display.
About the Author:
Kim Waltmire is a state and national award-winning educator. She holds an honorary seat with the 2006 USA Today All-Star Teacher team. Kim is a graduate from CCSU with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She published a writing & literacy book; Picturesque Writing, now self-published as The Art of Visual Writing for elementary teachers K-5. Kim also published a Read-Along Series for primary grades, coupled with spelling, grammar, science and social studies lessons for k-12 with a home-school company. Her writing and Project Based Learning strategies were recognized and published in the Creative Classroom Teacher’s magazine; May/June 1998 issue. She was recognized for her educational contributions and Project Based Learning by Oprah Winfrey, interviewed on CNN, Fox News, and honored by the CT State Governor several times. Kim has taught elementary school for 28 years and presently an Educational Literacy Consultant. Kim’s passion is teaching writing literacy for all learning styles.