Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Delicious Words

Michelle Barlow


Students work together to make simple menus more interesting by adding descriptive words. This plan works well with the Six Traits of Writing as it covers the trait of word choice.


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).

The student interacts with peers in a variety of situations to develop and present familiar ideas (for example, summarizing information from group activities, recognizing different perspectives).


Day 1:
-Chalkboard and chalk
-One simple menu for each group (see attached file)
-Paper and pencils for students
Day 2:
-Chalkboard and chalk
-Sensational Sentences Worksheet one for each student (see attached file)
-Pencils for students


Day 1:
-Duplicate copies of the simple menus for your groups (see attached file)

Day 2:
-Duplicate a copy of the Sensational Sentences Worksheet for each child (see attached file)


Day 1:
1. Write the following two menus on the board:

Menu A: Hamburger on a bun topped with lettuce and tomato served with french fries and pasta salad.

Menu B: Juicy Quarterpound charbroiled hamburger on a lightly toasted wheat bun topped with crispy lettuce and fresh tomatos served with seasoned french fries and zesty pasta salad.

2. Ask the students which menu sounded more appealing. Discuss why B more appealing. During the discussion ask the class which menu gave the most vivid description of what was being offered. Point out that A let you know you were getting a hamburger on a bun, but B let you know what kind of hamburger and bun you were getting. Explain that B provides more information to the reader by using good descriptive word choices that provided a more detailed picture.

3. Tell the class that they are going to work together in small cooperative groups to make some simple menus more interesting like the sample on the board. Explain that everyone should actively participate in the group discussion. Remind students that they should listen carefully and politely to each other while working together.

4. Give each group a copy of a simple menu (see attached file). Tell the class that they have 15 minutes to rewrite their menus using as many descriptive words as their groups can work into the menu.

5. Circulate to assess that each student is actively participating in their group's discussion and offer help to any groups that need more guidance.

6. Have each group present both their simple and new descriptive menus to the class. Discuss how the revised menus created by the groups gave more vivid pictures because of the descriptive words they added.

1. Review day one's activity and remind students that they added descriptive words to boring menus to give better descriptions.

2. Tell the class that they will be working on their own today to make simple sentences into sensational sentences.

3. Write the following sentence on the board: The child went to his house.

4. Ask the class if they can think of any ways to make this sentence give more details. After the class has offered ideas, rewrite the sentence. Example: The small child went gloomily into the new house.

5. Talk to the class about how the sentence went from being vague to very detailed. Talk with the class about how writers have to choose words that are vivid and descriptive so that readers can visualize what the writer is trying to get across to them.

6. Explain to the class that they are now going to do a worksheet that will allow them to change simple sentences into sensational sentences.

7. Tell the students that they will do just as you showed them on the board with the sample. They will rewrite a simple sentence so that it has descriptive words that would help someone else visualize what is happening.

8. Pass out the Sensational Sentences Worksheet (see attached file).

9. Allow students 15-20 minutes to complete the worksheets.


On day 1 circulate during group time to formatively assess students working in their groups. Check to make sure every student is being a good listener and giving input about the activity to their peers.
Day 2
Collect the students' worksheets and formatively assess them by looking to see if the students added plenty of descriptive words to the sentences. After checking over student work, conference with them individually to discuss their strengths and give feedback on how they can improve their word choices.


Extend this lesson by teaching students about synonyms and using a thesaurus to make better word choices. -Power Words- is a lesson that teaches this and it is found on the Beacon website.
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