Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Descriptive Writing

Cheryl Carasick
Marion County Schools


Students will have fun using descriptive words in an expository format to describe a food that they hate.


The student focuses on a central idea or topic (for example, excluding loosely related, extraneous, or repetitious information).

The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).


-Planning Sheet (See Associated File)
-List of sensory words
-Rubric for assessment (See Associated File)


1. Gather classroom materials needed.
2. Have a copy of the writing prompt provided for each student.
3. Provide students with an example of the teacher's sensory words and essay for an example.


Note: Students must have prior knowledge of what an expository prompt is.

Day 1:
1. Provide students with a copy of the following prompt:
Everyone has a food they love. They also have a food they hate.
Think about a food that you never want to eat again. Now write to tell the food that you dislike the most and explain why.

2. Have students read the prompt together and discuss what it is asking them to write about. Inform students that today they will need to use descriptive words in their essay in order for the reader to understand why they dislike the food so much.

3. Explain to the students that today we will be doing the planning portion of this assignment only. The students will be given a copy of the planning sheet that they will be using. (See attached file.) The teacher will give them the planning sheet.
Note: This is a great opportunity to explain to students that making a list is only one of the many ways that a writer uses as their planning sheet.

4. Read your planning sheet to the students, having them guess the food that you are describing.

5. Students will describe their food on their planning sheet. They will not let their classmates know which food they hate the most. The students share their words with a partner. The partner will help determine if its a vivid descriptive word/phrase, and if not, help determine one. The students will then read their sensory words to the other students and let them guess what they are describing.

Day 2:
Note: Before starting day two, make sure each student has a completed planning sheet. You will need to ensure that each student has a list of sensory words in order to complete this day's lesson.

1. Have all of the sensory words that the teacher used from day one on a chart paper. Explain to the students that today we will be using some of their own descriptive words to use in our paragraph.

2. Write one paragraph based on the teacher's food together whole group. Insert four descriptive words into the paragraph. Highlight those special words for the students to see easily.

3. Have students write their own paragraph. Inform students that they must highlight any descriptive words or word phrases that they use.

4. Let students share final copy with their classmates.

5. Assess planning sheets and students' paragraphs.


Students will be assessed formatively on their ability to incorporate descriptive words into an expository paragraph. Use the rubric in the associated file to assess students' work.

Attached Files

Planning Sheet     File Extension: pdf

Descriptive Writing Rubric     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.