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Describe It! Using Descriptive Words in Writing

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 1/20/2012

Sentence writing can be a drudgery, but it doesn't have to be. Writing descriptive sentences can be fun if a game is involved! If you'd like to try a new way of teaching how to write descriptive sentences, check out this language arts game you can use with your class.

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    Discussion & Examples

    Discuss writing descriptive sentences with students before playing the game below. Talk about how using certain words to describe physical attributes of an object can make a sentence come alive for the reader. Talk about how descriptive words can turn a bland sentence into a spicy one! Explain to students that we can use a variety of words to describe the color, shape, feel, texture, size, smell, or sound of an object. Be sure to encourage students to develop well-formed descriptive sentences with a subject and predicate.

    Show some examples of descriptive words on the board:

    Words that describe color:

    • fuschia
    • turquoise
    • bright
    • muted
    • dull
    • pale
    • milky
    • pink

    Words that describe shape:

    • short
    • spiked
    • spotted
    • long
    • flat
    • sharp
    • oval

    Words that describe sound:

    • rustling
    • soft
    • loud
    • blaring
    • rattling
    • whining
    • screech
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    A Language Arts Game

    This is a fun and easy language arts game that is sure to get student brains thinking about building descriptive sentences. Write the names of various objects on index cards. Shuffle the cards and pass one out to each student. Students must hide their cards from everyone else's sight. Using the word on the card, each child will write 5 descriptive sentences about the object without saying what the object is in any way. Encourage the students to use words that describe the object as thoroughly as possible. Color, size, texture, smell, and sound are some things that can be used to describe the object. Everyone will get a chance to read their descriptive sentences to the class, and other students will raise their hand to make a guess as to the identity of the mystery object.

    The "Describe It" game can be played using different categories of words on the index cards. In the game above, students are describing random objects, but you could make a set of index cards for feelings, months of the year, items in nature, animals, or places. For example, if you are playing the game using places, one card could say "at the beach." The student would write descriptive sentences without revealing the place on the card and other students would guess the place being described.