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Descriptive Writing Starters - 5 activities

Descriptive Writing Starters - 5 activities

Subject: English

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity

Red Apple Resources by Bobbie

I am Head of Humanities and teacher of English, Media, Drama, Geography and History (specialising in Shakespeare and Autism). I've worked for private schools, mainstream and special needs. Currently I tailor my resources to suit mid-ability students but with differentiation allowing teachers to easily adapt to suit higher/lower groups. I make SOWs where the resources are all in one easy to access place, as well as providing learning objectives (even if just overviews) to help with observations.

Last updated

17 August 2022

descriptive writing starter activity

A powerpoint with 5 creative/descriptive writing starter activities that can each lead into a lesson of their own or be used as standalone activities. Looking primarily at vocabulary choices.

Developed for GCSE, but applicable at KS3 too.

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Review: Descriptive Writing Paragraph Starters on Teachers Pay Teachers

The Descriptive Writing Paragraph Starters packet is a free download available on Teachers Pay Teachers. The packet teaches one method of guiding students through a descriptive writing assignment using a five-sentence paragraph. Detailed descriptive writing is a creative writing skill that evades many students, and this guide offers two different structures to approach any topic.

In addition to the two structured guides for the descriptive writing assignment, the packet contains a few examples that would be very helpful to share with students who are new to the activity. The examples show the intent of the instructions, making them more helpful, especially for young writers who are unfamiliar with this style of creative writing (or who tend to need or prefer a lot of guidance).

An additional benefit to this particular download is that the structure it provides is effective at teaching the skill but “open" enough that teachers could easily come up with their own version of the paragraph prompts, tailoring the assignment to their particular class’s needs, interests, or other units of study. While the packet provides handouts that would do just fine as photocopied assignment sheets, the assignment itself doesn’t rely on these exact sheets.

Descriptive writing is one of many important skills for any successful writer, and it’s one that students will need to do well in school and beyond. And because it’s such an important skill, teachers who find descriptive writing in their curricula may be well served by including this paragraph starter packet in the teaching tools they consider.

You can download your own copy of the Descriptive Writing Paragraph Starters packet here .

You may also enjoy the following TeachersPayTeachers products:

- The Writing Prompts Workbook: Grades 3-4

- The Writing Prompts Workbook: Grades 11-12

- Fourth Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays

- First Grade Writing Prompts for Seasons

- 50 Prompts for Homeschooling (free)

If you’re interested in opening your own TeachersPayTeachers shop, click here to find out more.

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Teaching Writing Fast and Effectively!

Summer Writing Prompts for Children

by Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay | Seasonal and Holiday Writing Ideas , Writing Prompts and Assignments

descriptive writing starter activity

Writing Prompts and Story Ideas – Summer

Be sure to learn more about how to use writing prompts with students here:

1.  Using Writing Prompts with Kids : Tips, Tricks, Pros and Cons of Writing Prompts

2.  How to Use Writing Prompts in Teaching Writing

Wishing you and your students total essay writing success! Have a great summer!

Please Note : Alexander Bain’s widely accepted century-old model holds that there are only four modes of discourse: 1) descriptive 2) narrative 3) expository and 4) argument/ persuasive. Many of the headings below are “organizational models or patterns” and can be combined with the four main modes of discourse. Example: The “cause and effect pattern” can be expressed in the descriptive, narrative, expository, or argumentative genre.

Summertime Cause and Effect Essay

• My lazy days cause my parents to… • It gets hotter and hotter and hotter and pretty soon everyone is… • I goofed off all school year and now I pay the price in summer. • I worked hard all school year and my parents are really proud of my effort. Now it’s summer. • The causes and effects of a sunburn. • Kids have summer vacation – what effect does this have on parents? • In the pool and at the beach all day — what’s the effect?

Summertime Persuasive Essay

• Summer should be the same length as the school year. • Parents must not over program kids during the summer. Summer is our time to relax. • In this modern age, summer vacation is too long and should be reduced to something more reasonable. • Summer vacation should be a time for self-learning. Students must engage in learning activities over the summer. • Summertime is fun time. No work! All fun! • Families must take at least one family vacation during the summer. • This is how you should spend your summer… • Going to camp is terrible — or going to camp is great!

Summertime Process Essay / How-To Essay

• Step-by-step guide to having fun in the sun. • How to eat a Popsicle in the summertime heat without dripping a drop. • How to plan out your summer. • How to have fun at the beach. • How to stay cool on hot, hot days. • Steps to making your parents happy during the summer.

Summertime Argumentative Essay

• The real purpose of summer vacation is… • Summer is better than winter…

Summertime Evaluation Essay

• How summer vacation affects students’ mental attitude for the following year. • How summer vacation has changed from the days when summer vacation was based on the agricultural growing cycle. • Is summer vacation an outdated tradition that is not valid in these modern times? • Who needs summer vacation more, teachers or students?

Summertime Narrative/ Personal Narrative Essay

• Remembering summers past. • A special summer vacation family trip. • The greatest summer ever. • My family, my friends, and me… all summer long. • When the air conditioner broke. • My parents put me to work. • Fun times.

Summertime Expository/Informational Essay

• History of summer vacation. • Summer vacation through the ages. • Things you can do to keep busy over summer vacation. • Fun ways of learning over summer vacation. • Different kinds of summer camp. • Summer around the world. • Movies about hot summers.

Summertime Descriptive Essay

• It was a hot and humid night… • Describe how it feels on the hottest day of summer. • See, hear, feel, and taste all summer long. • Describe how summer is.

Summertime Five-Paragraph Essay

• Three things you must absolutely do in the summer. • The three stages of summer. • Summer days – morning, afternoon, and nighttime. • Three reasons summer is… • Summer with friends, family, and camp. • Working, playing, and learning… all summer long.

Summertime Compare and Contrast Essay

• Summer for kids compared to summer for adults. • Summertime before air conditioning compared to summer now. • A working summer compared to a fun summer. • My perfect summer compared to how my parents want me to spend my summer. • Summertime for young kids compared to summertime for older kids. • This summer compared to last summer. • What makes summer good? What makes summer bad? • Summer for teachers vs. summer for students

Summertime Story Ideas

• Back on the farm — the hot summer days… • The New Global Warming Summer Filled with Dry, Hot, Heat • An amazing summer with dolphins. • Splish, Splash, Crash! • Warning: Record Heat! • The Snowy Summer • Straight A’s and Fun!

Have a great summer!

P.s. be sure to download your free “ classic summer poems collection ” ebook, pattern based writing: quick & easy essay.

Elementary and Middle School Writing Curriculum

Help for Writing Teachers!

Writing Curriculum Before and After

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    An extensive collection of writing teaching resources to assist your students with editing, handwriting, paragraphs and exploring text types

  2. Descriptive Writing Starters

    A powerpoint with 5 creative/descriptive writing starter activities that can each lead into a lesson of their own or be used as standalone activities

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  8. Summer Writing Prompts for Children

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