Descriptive Writing Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Take your instruction on descriptive writing to the next level with the help of a video lesson and an engaging activity. Suggestions for supplementary activities and related lessons are also included for further study.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define descriptive writing
  • identify elements of descriptive writing
  • compose a descriptive essay


1 hour


  • Notebook paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Red pens or markers
  • Tablet, computer, or projector to access lesson

Curriculum Standards


Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.


Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades 9-10 here.)


  • Play the the video lesson Descriptive Writing: Definition, Techniques & Examples. Pause the video at 3:19.
  • Have students use sample #1 from the video lesson to write a similar paragraph on notebook paper using descriptive writing techniques.
  • When all students have finished their attempt at rewriting sample #1, resume the video to play sample #2 and pause again at 4:51.
  • Ask students to underline in red pen all examples of descriptive writing in their paragraph. For a partner option, ask students to trade papers and identify vivid description in a partner's writing.
  • When all students have identified descriptive writing, play the remainder of the video.
  • Now have students take another stab at descriptive writing by describing the most delicious meal they have ever eaten.


  • Ask students to analyze the author's use of descriptive writing in their favorite fictional novel.
  • Display five assorted items and have students use descriptive writing to explain each item.

Related Lessons

How to Write a Strong Personal Essay
Peer Editing: How to Edit Essays By Other Writers

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