Descriptive Writing

ell the class that they are going to learn how to write descriptive essays using all their senses. Solicit the senses from students and write them on the board i.e. smell & taste, touch, sound and sight.

Explain that to make a descriptive essay interesting we have to add detail and we do this by adding information that the senses provide.

Divide the class into the sense categories. Blindfold one person in each group and put them in a separate area where it is unlikely for them to hear their colleagues comments. Show an object and get them to describe it using their senses, e.g. for a tomato they would write red and round under the "sight" column, under "touch" they may put soft and smooth etc. When one group has finished with an item pass it to the next group until the whole class has finished describing all the items in the bag. Monitor the groups to see if they understand the instructions.

Then explain that the four blindfolded students are going to guess the items without seeing them. Get the students to describe the objects they have just seen but they are not to mention the object itself or its uses. For example with the tomato they cannot say this is used for cooking, and they cant say it is a fruit or a vegetable. When the blindfolded student is unable to guess (and this would depend on the objects the teacher chooses to place in the bag) actually give the blindfolded student the object. For example, give the student the squishy tomato. Let him feel it, encourage him to smell it, taste it (if it is edible) and make notes of his comments on the board. When the students have finished all the objects, see if their observation matched those of the students who were not blindfolded. I found that the students really liked it when I stuck the fingers of the blind folded student right into the squishy tomato.

Then once the class has settled down again, explain the importance of adding detail in essays. Give them a sample paragraph that uses most if not...