Writing Deadly Descriptive Paragraphs
A tree that is also a face--how do I describe this?
What is this? How does it feel? What does this look like? How does this smell?

With a little help from our friends....





Go ahead and click on one of them.  Let them introduce themselves to you.  Hear how they are here to help!

Is there someone stuck in this tree?
Details, details, details.

Look closely at the picture of a tree above.  On a separate sheet of paper list as many details about this tree's appearance as you can.

example detail:  gray/brown tree trunk

If you want to try a different picture of a tree click on one of the links below and complete the activity above using one of these pictures.




Descriptive paragraphs are paragraphs that use words to paint a picture in the mind of the reader.  Good descriptive writers use words that engage the five senses of the reader. 

Good descriptive writers think of questions a reader might have about the thing being described and try to answer those questions.  Examples of questions a good descriptive writer might ask are in the picture at the right.  Try to answer some of these questions about the tree you just looked at before moving onto the next page.  

Here is another tree ready to be described.

All right, now you have a list of details about the tree you are describing and an idea of the kinds of questions that descriptive paragraphs answer.  Now it is time to begin writing your paragraph.

You may choose, with the help of your teacher, which of the following ways work best for you to write your paragraph. 



Some people would rather begin their paragraphs by free-writing.  If that is you, take out a piece of paper and freewrite using your list of details for the next ten minutes.
Someone free-writing
After you freewrite go back and reread your work.  Underline any sentences you think would make a good addition to your paragraph.

Another way to start a paragraph is to organize your ideas so you know what to write when.  Many people like to use a graphic organizer to put their ideas in an order that makes sense.  Below is one example of a graphic organizer you may fill using the list of details you generated about how a tree looks.


On the following page is another example of a different kind of graphic organizer.  Have your teacher help you choose what graphic organizer will work best for you.

Crab Graphic Organizer

Another Graphic Organizer
There are so many ways to organize your thoughts.

Now with your free-writing or your graphic organizer you are ready to start writing your paragraph.  You may choose to write it out by hand, type it on your laptop or sit with a partner and speak your paragraph to her as she writes it out.  Remember to make sure you have a good topic sentence, lots of details to really paint a picture of the tree, and a concluding sentence.