Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mouthwatering Adjectives!

Kerry McMillen


Students use adjectives to write descriptions of food items in order to create a restaurant menu.


The student uses various parts of speech correctly in written work (including but not limited to subject and verb agreement, common noun and pronoun agreement, possessive forms, the comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs).


-Samples of restaurant menus
-Overhead projector and markers
-Manilla paper and pencils
-Colored pencils, optional


1. Collect samples of restaurant menus that use lots of descriptive adjectives.
2. Prepare two overhead transparencies--one with a boring menu item and one with a more interesting menu item.
3. Gather supplies listed in materials list.


1. Display a transparency with the name of a boring menu item such as: hamburger, large fries, coke. . . . .$4.00. Then display a transparency with the name of a menu item along with a description of it using several vivid adjectives. Example: 1/3 pound hamburger-- chargrilled and topped with mounds of melted cheddar cheese, a fresh tomato slice, and our own secret dressing served with an order of crispy fries. . . . .$4.00
2. Ask students which description makes them hungrier. Explain that it is the sensory appeal of the adjectives that makes the second description more vivid and -mouth-watering.-
3. Ask students to orally identify the adjectives in the second description of the hamburger. Underline them as they are identified.
4. Show several sample menus from local restaurants to the students. Pass the menus around so the students can look at them. Read some of the menu descriptions orally. Discuss the sensory appeal of the adjectives. Ask students leading questions such as: Can you visually picture the food item? Can you smell its aroma? Can you imagine how the food would taste? Usually, students begin to get hungry, especially if it is before lunch!
5. Students then design and create an original menu for a fictitious restaurant of their choice. Instruct them to use at least five adjectives in each food description, and each menu should have at least ten food items for a total of fifty adjectives. Students underline the adjectives they use in their descriptions.
6. Students read menus orally as their peers listen to the -mouth-watering- adjectives. As a fun way to end the lesson, students vote on the restaurant where they would most like to dine. Reward the winning student with a certificate to a local, fast-food restaurant.
7. After reading menus orally, students turn menus in to the teacher to be graded.


Assess the final product using the following rubric:

Full Accomplishment (3)—Students have produced a creative menu for a fictitious restaurant that accurately reflects the student's understanding of the appropriate use of adjectives as well as follows the teacher's directions.

Substantial Accomplishment (2)—Student’s menu is complete, but creative or artistic effort is minimal. Menus do not reflect full understanding of the correct use of adjectives.

Little or Partial Accomplishment (1)—Student’s menu is incomplete or does not fulfill the requirements of the assignment.


Prior Knowledge—This lesson is a culminating activity to be done after adjectives have been taught.
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