Descriptive Writing Teacher Resources
Find Descriptive Writing educational ideas and activities
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Descriptive Writing Using the Book Rumpelstiltskin
Use the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin to teach your third grade class about descriptive writing. Following a teacher read-aloud of the story, the class brainstorms a list of adjectives describing the main character. Young scholars use this list as they work independently writing four descriptive sentences, each including a different adjective and supporting detail from the text.
2nd - 4th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Descriptive Prompt: Precise Language
Incorporate sensory details into a piece of descriptive writing. First, elementary and middle schoolers improve a piece of writing by using precise, vivid language, as well as appropriate word choice. They then listen to a variety of read aloud books which focus on the senses.
3rd - 8th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
The Memory Box: Descriptive Writing
A great way to reinforce descriptive writing, this lesson serves as an exploration of adjectives and sensory words. First, pupils describe a family tradition using as many sensory details as they can. Then, they try to draw a scene from a story using the details provided.
4th - 7th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Power of the Image -- Descriptive Writing and Images of Children and the Great Depression
Middle schoolers create a journal from the viewpoint of a child during the Great Depression. They view primary source images of children during the Great Depression. The images used are both photographs and cartoons. After viewing these images, they use descriptive writing to write their journals.
6th - 8th Social Studies & History
Improving Descriptive Writing
Banish clichés from descriptive writing! Class members listen to and identify the overused phrases in the presentation. An activity is proposed, and a sample poem full of clichés ends the show. Some of the sound effects are distracting, but others add to the experience.
6th - 8th English Language Arts
Descriptive Writing (Using the Paintings of Winslow Homer)
Art inspires art, right? Facilitate creative writing effortlessly! Images of Winslow Homer's paintings provide visual stimuli for compositions. Examples of descriptive writing follow each painting, and a scaffold is displayed to help with outlining.
7th - 10th English Language Arts
Elementary writers practice writing descriptive paragraphs by adding adjectives and sensory words to their writing. They use a picture of a monster for their descriptive paragraph. This 12-page lesson should increase your charges understanding of how to incorporate adjectives, sensory words, and descriptive phrases into a story or poem.
3rd - 5th English Language Arts
Zoom-In: Using Descriptive Writing
Fourth graders practice descriptive writing. In this writing lesson, 4th graders analyze segments of photographs, making predictions with each segment. Students then use their new understanding of descriptive language to write a paper that describes an image.
4th English Language Arts
Descriptive Writing: Parrot in the Oven
After reading a selection from Victor Martinez's Parrot in the Oven, pupils use the graphic organizer to decipher the sensory details within the descriptive paragraph. They list various details under the appropriate sense ("see," "hear," and "touch").
8th - 10th English Language Arts
Let's Go Exploring!
Use a Courbet painting of a cave or tunnel opening to reinforce the importance of descriptive writing. Writers of all ages use sensory details to describe what the scene depicts as they pretend to be in the painting. Then they imagine going into Courbet's cave.
K - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Quick as a Cricket Lesson Plan
Teaching young learners about similes is easy as pie with this primary grade language arts lesson. Following a class reading of the children's book, Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood, young readers learn the definition of a simile as they look at the numerous examples presented in the story.
Pre-K - 2nd English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
The Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: Poetry of Place
Much of Robinson Jeffers' poetry is grounded in place. Read three poems with your class ("Carmel Point," "Bixby's Landing," and "Hands") and examine the locations described and language used in the poems. Pupils locate the locations on a map and draw illustrations of the landscape using the descriptions in the poems.
9th - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Binoculars are used as a metaphor for good descriptive writing. Class members first view a small picture and then an enlarged view of the same image in which the details come into focus. Next, learners examine a paragraph lacking sensory details and one rich in description.
8th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Read and identify three types of figurative language. High schoolers read and analyze "My Father's Body" by Christopher Buckley and "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman. They identify the elements of figurative and descriptive language and write an original poem or short biography.
9th - 12th English Language Arts
Gummy Worm Writing
Students participate in a very creative lesson using gummy worms to engage students in identifying the five senses. They discover the steps in the descriptive writing process and how the five senses are involved. They generate pre-writing, drafting, and editing steps in order to write their descriptive essays.
3rd - 5th English Language Arts
A Way With Words
Students explore descriptive writing and its effect on the reading experience. They consider an author's sensory experiences with frog sounds in springtime by reading and discussing the article "The Sweet Song of Spring: 'Ribbit;'" then Create a poster highlighting the meaning of a particular literary device learned about in class.
6th - 12th English Language Arts
Descriptive Writing: Using Art to Inspire description
Write with the senses! Try using art to inspire writers to consider all of the senses. Here, the class is divided in half. Each group looks at one of two images, imagines the senses that would be engaged, and records answers to five questions related to the senses.
5th - 12th Visual & Performing Arts
Descriptive Writing and Review
This is my type of lesson! Learners read the poem, "The Deserted House" by Mary Coleridge, then complete a series of activities which encourage strong descriptive writing and sensory detail. They'll practice outlining, sentence writing, and creative thinking.
5th - 6th English Language Arts