How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph or Essay: Lesson for Kids

How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph or Essay: Lesson for Kids
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  • 0:01 Descriptive Writing
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

There are many different styles and purposes for writing. One type of writing is called descriptive writing. In this lesson, you'll learn about descriptive writing and how to write a descriptive paragraph or essay.

Descriptive Writing

Let's look at a couple of sentences. Ready? Ok. Here's the first sentence:

  • The chicken was good at dancing.

Pretty straightforward. Now the second sentence:

  • Despite being an ordinary egg-laying chicken, Renaldo dazzled the cheering crowd as he peered confidently over the rims of his metallic gray sunglasses while popping, locking, and sliding across the dance floor of the barn under the glittering lights of the makeshift disco ball.

Which of these sentences would you want to read again? Did you select the second sentence? If you did, it's most likely because it was more interesting and helped to create a picture in your mind of Renaldo the disco chicken. It sounds like he is an EGG-cellent dancer!

The second sentence is an example of descriptive writing. Descriptive writing is when an author uses carefully selected words to help create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Oftentimes, these words involve sensory details, which focus on the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings that are associated with a particular topic.

The goal of descriptive writing is for readers to feel like they are actually experiencing what an author is describing. For example, there were a few descriptions in the sentence that most likely helped you create a mental image of Renaldo's dance fever like:

  • 'cheering crowd'
  • 'he peered confidently over the rims of his metallic gray sunglasses'
  • 'popping, locking, and sliding across the dance floor'
  • 'glittering lights of the makeshift disco ball'

Now that we've learned about descriptive writing, let's hatch a plan to figure out the best way to write a descriptive paragraph or essay. Sorry, but all these chicken jokes must be cracking you up, huh?

Writing a Descriptive Paragraph

If you're going to write a descriptive paragraph or essay, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when writing.

The first thing to do is to use your senses. Once you have selected a topic to write about, it's important to start thinking about what sensory details you can include to help your readers feel like they are experiencing what you are writing. To do this, it helps to ask yourself the following questions:


Sensory details2


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