Descriptive Writing: Word Choice

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12309

The bird flew away. Big deal! If it was a bird in an open cage, or a duck by a hunter, or a majestic eagle, it makes a difference! Learn to choose words carefully to paint a picture for your readers!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Everybody has to be somewhere at some time. No one can be nowhere at no time, even if sometimes you may seem to be lost in the middle of nowhere! Characters in stories are somewhere at some time, and you need to learn how to put them where and when!

The setting of a story or essay is when and where the story takes place.

The characters in the previous picture that you saw were in the woods or a forest. By the way that they are dressed, they lived a long time ago. So the author may have written, “Long ago, in a land far away . . . ”

In this lesson, we will be learning about setting and characters. You will then write an essay in which you will describe the setting and characters in your story.

If you missed or would like to review the previous Related Lessons in our Descriptive Writing series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.

Before we go any farther, take out a piece of paper and pencil. As you watch this Karenzo Media video on descriptive writing, take notes about how to create a setting using Descriptive Writing:

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When you write a descriptive essay, you will have five paragraphs.

  1. The first paragraph has the topic sentence and explains what you will be writing about.
  2. Supporting details take up the next three paragraphs.
  3. The last paragraph sums it all up, and the story comes to a conclusion.

In a descriptive essay, you will “show” not “tell.” You will use specific details that paint a picture for the reader. You will use the things you have learned in the previous lessons in this series. They are:

  1. Sensory details using sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell to describe scenes.
  2. Adjectives that are descriptive, as well as similes and metaphors.
  3. Action verbs, adverbs, and onomatopoeia.

Using all these things will allow your reader to “see” what is happening in your essay. They will be able to imagine where it is taking place and visualize your characters.

Now, go to the Got It? section and practice identifying the setting and characters.

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