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How to Teach Your Child to Use Descriptive Words in Sentences

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/5/2012

There are many "at home" opportunities you can use to teach your children to use good descriptive words in sentences. Here are some ideas and games parents can use with their children.

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    Take Advantage of Teachable Moments

    Parents have great opportunities for incidental teaching moments throughout the day. If you want your child to learn to use good descriptive words when writing sentences, it makes sense that you should start taking advantage of these incidental moments at home to showcase the importance of descriptive words. You don't have to plan a bunch of boring lessons to teach your child, just take advantage of a variety of situations each day.

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    Examples of "Spicier" Sentences

    Start out by talking to your child about how much "spicier" a sentence sounds when words are included that provide the reader with a description. Follow this up by describing an item for your child.

    For example, when you're in the kitchen making lemonade, hold up a lemon and say:

    "Listen to me use good descriptive words in a sentence to describe this lemon."

    Then say something like:

    "The small, yellow lemon's aroma was fresh and sour."

    Now have you child choose something to describe in a sentence. Make it sort of like a game. You can describe things you see while riding in the car, at restaurants, or on vacation. Kids love to play games in the car to avoid boredom on a trip. You'll be teaching and playing at the same time!

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    "Guess Who" Family Fun Game

    Teach your child that you can develop descriptive sentences to describe more than just objects. Have fun describing characteristics of family members (in a positive way, of course). Here are some words for describing people: smart, pretty, beautiful, crafty, clever, kind, honest, or truthful. You could even play a game of "Guess Who I'm Describing".

    Using descriptive sentences, describe a friend or family member without revealing the person's identity. It's fun guessing who the person is talking about, and as long as uplifting and positive words are used, it's a self esteem booster. We all like to hear the good qualities about ourselves, after all. This is a great game for family fun night.

    Parents don't always need to provide structured table time to reinforce lessons learned in the classroom. Sometimes, the best teaching moments occur in places like the car or back yard.

    Make use of those teachable moments, and your child's understanding of the benefits of using good descriptive words in sentences is sure to soar!