Frequently, students write very simple, basic sentences that provide few, if any, descriptive details to the reader. This lesson focused on adjectives and adverbs can be fun and informative at the same time.
First, review with students the function of adjectives and adverbs. Remind them that adjectives describe nouns--the names of people, places, things and ideas--while adverbs describe verbs--the action of the sentence--and adjectives. Ask for a few examples of each, with students providing both the modifier and the word it is modifying (blue ball, etc.)
Divide students in pairs for the practice activity. Give each pair a three-to-four word sentence, like “The dog barked.” Partners alternate adding an adjective or an adverb to the sentence to make a more vivid and visible word picture. Allow groups to compete to see which partnership can produce the longest, yet most coherent, sentence.
For more advanced writers, allow them to also add prepositional or other descriptive phrases. Encourage them to consider using similes, metaphors, and other figurative language.
With these three ideas, your students will be well on their way to producing informative and interesting exposition, both in and out of school.