Descriptive Writing

Artistic Elements: Exploring Art Through Descriptive Writing
Using the book Anna's Art Adventure by Bjorn Sortland as the basis for discussion, students are led through a scaffolded lesson in which they use adjectives to describe the color, shape, line, and mood present within various pieces of artwork. When their descriptions are complete, students are then asked to use their observations to create their own renditions of an artist's work.

Can't Complain? Writing About Pet Peeves
How can students express their complaints in articulate and constructive ways? In this lesson, students read the New York Times “Complaint Box” series and use descriptive and persuasive writing strategies to communicate their own pet peeves succinctly and productively.

Cooking Up Descriptive Language: Designing Restaurant Menus
Students explore the genre of menus by analyzing existing menus from local restaurants. After establishing the characteristics of the genre, students work in groups to choose a restaurant and then create their own custom menus. They then analyze the use of adjectives and descriptive language on sample menus before revising their own menus with attention to descriptive phrasing.

Describing the Real World (Nonfiction Writing)
Students use detail to describe a room. Be sure to check the Teacher's Notes.

Description Essay from WritingDEN
A handout for students.

Description of a Familiar Object using Mythology
Students describe the throne they would have if they were a deity.

Description Paragraph from WritingDEN
For students: suggestions for descriptive writing.

Descriptive Writing and the 100th Day of School
This lesson guides K-2 students in writing descriptions of 100th day bottles they create at home. They will write clues about their bottles for a guessing game, practice descriptive writing, and create a class book.

Descriptive Writing Techniques
A writer lists techniques such as recalling from memory, sketching, and identifying subjective and objective components to help with composing.

Descriptive Writing with Virginia Hamilton
An online workshop with explanations, models, student writing activies, and an opportunity to publish online.

Exploring Descriptive Language with Different Parts of Speech
Students gain experience writing, choosing appropriate language, and understanding parts of speech. Students learn that words have multiple functions when used in different contexts. Through these exercises, students gain practice in writing, and learn how word choice can affect both meaning and intent. Lesson comes with printable handout and is designed for grades 5-8.

Filling in the Blanks: Using Modifiers to Provide Detail
Students develop voice and style by adding details to their writing.

"I Spy:" Using Adjectives and Descriptive Phrases
Students will review definitions for adjectives, learn and practice sensory adjectives and imagery, and use adjectives and descriptive phrases in writing a paragraph and/or story. This lesson is designed for grades 3 and 4.

Making history, one word at a time
Writer Elizabeth Mosier explains the process she uses to engage fourth graders in descriptive writing.

Using Descriptive Language - Inventing Your Own Bug!
After watching a short video about backyard bugs, students describe and draw an insect they invent. Using descriptive language and images, students show how the characteristics of an object can be reflected in its name. This lesson is designed for grades 3-5 and includes video, handouts, and rubric.

Writing to Photography/Photography to Writing
A teacher designed this project with two goals in mind: (1) to improve students' writing by incorporating photography into descriptive and narrative writing exercises designed to inspire more varied and creative perspectives, and (2) to enhance visual as well as verbal literacy.



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