How to Teach Kids Descriptive Writing

Once kids start stringing coherent sentences together, it is time for them to make their writing interesting. They need to move from functional language to one that is rich in details. This forces them to use new vocabulary, pay attention, make connections and increase their ability to comprehend. Good descriptive writing has the ability to evoke visual images and feelings.

Adjectives Bulletin Board

Adjectives Bulletin Board” by Evelyn Saenz is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Character Sketch
Animals are always fun to write about. Ask kids to pick out their favorite virtual pet from the pet games they play. These are often colorful creatures with interesting characteristics. Kids have to describe the pet. They can start with the pet’s physical features and then move on to describing how the pet acts or thinks.
This can be turned into a game if you have at least two kids. They can write descriptions of the pets but leave out their names, and take turns in guessing which pet is being described. Paintings and photographs from magazines can also be used.

Describe Settings
Kids can be taken out to a park, a beach or a café. Ask them to keep a notepad and pencil handy, and write down their observations. Encourage them to use their senses. These observations can be brief like orange roses, brown chairs and cool breeze. They can later write a detailed description of the place they visit.


Created by Alex (Age 8)” by MrsGooding is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sense Challenge
This is an exercise that will help kids develop their five senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. We take in a lot of information that is often sensory but it takes practice to stay aware and distinguish between them. You can blindfold your child and give them a fruit like an apple or even a toy. Kids have to feel the shape, texture, smell and taste to identify the fruit they have been given. By canceling out sight, children will be forced to visualize the object and use their other senses. They can then write a description of it.

Adjective Bank
For descriptive writing to be powerful, kids need to have a strong vocabulary. You can help children build their vocabulary by creating various charts. Kids can start with the five senses and write as many words as possible related to each sense. For example, under ‘taste’ you would include ‘sweet’, ‘salty’, ‘bitter’ and ‘tangy’. Similarly, adjective word lists can be created for feelings, physical characteristics and so on.
With these simple activities, kids can improve their descriptive writing skills and develop their ability to communicate experiences and ideas clearly.


I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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