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A few enjoyable activities on Descriptive essay writing

Activity 1:

Work your imagination!

(Also view Checklist for writing Descriptive Essays)

Teaching Descriptive writing for Beginners:

One of  the very popular games played by children is ‘name , place, and a thing. Children have to write down a name of a person, place, or a country beginning with any alphabet. This has proved to be very helpful with my students while teaching them to think through their imaginative eye. However, this can be modified by asking the students why they came up with a particular name or a place. This would stir their critical imagination and would also help them think about their personal association with a certain person or a place that they had never consciously thought of.

Alphabet ‘O’ Why did you think of it and are there any personal associations?
  •  Another very interesting game of imagination is where you can ask your student to come up with any emotion such as anger, love, betrayal e.t.c that instantly comes to their mind.
  • Later, ask them to associate this particular emotion with anything that instantly pops in their minds, for instance if they think of anger, what is the next thing that anger reminds them of.;s a pot full of boiling water or a bursting volcano?
  • Now ask them ‘WHY’ they thought of a boiling water or else. ‘I remember once a student said that anger brought an image of a gray colour in his mind. When inquired ‘WHY’ he couldn’t answer.Later he confessed that he had never realised that a grey pant reminded him of his childhood when he was forced to wear an unimpressive grey pant to school which until he participated in this activity he had never actually realised, why the colour grey popped in his mind whenever he was angry’.
  • Later, make them associate their emotion with an unusual metaphor
What instantly comes to your mind ? What makes you think of it? Metaphor/Simile Sound Touch Hearing Visual Image

 Activity 3-whet your senses

Close your eyes and jot down all the words you hear in this class room  Remember to think of all the metaphors you can think to be associated with these sounds.

Now write a paragraph using these words.

Activity 4-Practice

Write  S or M against the sentences which are metaphors and similes.

1. It was It was autumn and the leaves were reddish- brown

It was autumn and the trees were aflame.

2. The old man’s face was wrinkled.

The old man’s face was like a withered apple

3. Her laugh was high pitched.

Her laugh tinkled like ice in a glass.

4. The waiting passengers pushed onto the train.

The waiting passengers stormed the train

5. The rain beat loudly on the roof.

The rain drummed on the roof

Activity 5:

Change the following sentences inserting metaphors and similes.

  1. Life is but a walking shadow.
  2. The hail fell on the windows.
  3. It started to rain.
  4. The child was crying
  5. The woman got angry.
  6. The football stadium was crowded.


1. Can descriptive writing be a narrative?

2.  Can a narrative be descriptive?

3 Can Descriptive Essays have dialogues?

4. Can Discursive essays be argumentative?

5.  ’ If I exceed the word count will my grade be affected?’

6.  How long should a Descriptive essay be?

7.   ‘My teacher said to get a good grade O-level students should use good vocabulary.

8. ‘Every time  I use difficult words i do not get a good grade’. Why?

9. How will I know that I am not overusing difficult words?

10.  Is there a difference between writing a descriptive essay in section 2, paper 1 and describing an account of an accident in section 1 (Directed Writing)

11. ‘ My teacher says that the candidate can get more marks in descriptive essays and they are the most easy to attempt.’

12. Are descriptive essays are based on real incidents only?

13. Should we only use the sense of sight when we describe something?

14. Do we have a thesis statement in descriptive essay writing?

15. We don’t need a topic sentence/thesis statement in descriptive and narrative essays as we need in discursive and argumentative essays.

Note: See the answers in the previous posts on descriptive essay writing.(‘FAQs about Descriptive Essays‘)






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