Descriptive essay unit reading assignment



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DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY UNIT


READING ASSIGNMENT

Write Source Book – Pages 75-82

STUDY

Writing Models – Pages 76-77, 80-82

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT

Write an essay about a place you know well. Choose a place that is meaningful to you.

LENGTH

5-7 Paragraphs (typed or handwritten, double-

spaced)


AUDIENCE

Classmates



GENERAL INFORMATION:

More than many other types of essays, descriptive essays strive to create a deeply involved and vivid experience for the reader. Great descriptive essays achieve this affect not through facts and statistics but by using detailed observations and descriptions.



Why are you writing your descriptive essay?

It's a great creative exercise to sit down and simply describe what you observe. However, when writing a descriptive essay, you often have a particular reason for writing your description. Getting in touch with this reason can help you focus your description and instill your language with a particular perspective or emotion.



How should you write your description?

If there's one thing you should remember as you write your descriptive essay, it's the famous saying: show, don't tell. But what's the difference between showing and telling?

Consider these two simple examples:


  • I grew tired after dinner.

  • As I leaned back and rested my head against the top of the chair, my eyelids began to feel heavy, and the edges of the empty plate in front of me blurred with the white tablecloth.

The first sentence tells readers that you grew tired after dinner. The second sentence shows readers that you grew tired. The most effective descriptive essays are loaded with such showing because they enable readers to imagine or experience something for themselves.

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY PLANNING SHEET


SUBJECT: Describe a special place (physical location)

AUDIENCE: Classmates







GOAL

NOTES

PARAGRAPH #1

(Introduction)



Grab your readers’ attention.
Clearly identify your “special place.” Explain why it’s important to you.



PARAGRAPH #2

(Physical

Description)


Show, don’t tell.

Use sensory details.

Use spatial details.



PARAGRAPH #3

(Physical

Description)


Show, don’t tell.

Use sensory details.

Use spatial details.



PARAGRAPH #4

(Physical

Description)


Show, don’t tell.

Use sensory details.

Use spatial details.



PARAGRAPH #5

(Conclusion)



Wrap up your essay. Bring it to a “smooth “ close.



SENSORY CHART


SIGHTS

SOUNDS

SMELLS

TOUCH

TASTE
















FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

TERM

DEFINITION

EXAMPLE


Figurative Language

Writing or speech that is not meant to be taken literally.

EX: simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole

Simile

a figure of speech that compares two things using the words “like” or “as”

My day has been like a nightmare.

Metaphor

a figure of speech that compares two things without using the words “like” or “as”

My day has been a nightmare.

Personification

a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics

The cold nipped at my nose.

Hyperbole

an exaggeration

My backpack weighs a ton.

SENSORY WORDS


Size

immense  

long         massive

large


tiny          

narrow


lean

small


short

wide


Sights

round


flat

curved


wavy

ruffled


angular

pale


transparent

tapered


wiry

lopsided


freckled

striped


perky

hollow


clear

glossy


jeweled

fiery


shimmering

muddy


bright

flowery


dark

sheer


grimy

worn


cluttered

fresh


drab

lacy


shadowy

muscular


handsome

fragile



Sounds

crash


squawk     crackle

chime


ring

thud


whine

buzz


laugh

silence


bump

bark


clink

gurgle


chuckle

boom


bleat

hiss


giggle

cry


thunder

snort


bang

blare


bellow

crow


roar

grumble


growl

hum        

chatter      

scream      grate        

whimper

mutter       mumble    

screech  

slam        



Smells

sweet pungent

musty

fruity delicious



rank

spoiled


foul

lemony


fragrant

floral


spicy

medicinal




Touch

silky smooth rough prickly sharp scalding

hot freezing

painful sticky creamy



Taste

oily           rich           bland         ripe          

buttery      hearty      

tasteless  

savory

medicinal  salty          mellow      sour        



fishy          bitter         sugary  

tangy


vinegary    spicy       bittersweet crisp      

fruity         hot           sweet         burnt









TRANSITIONS

(words and phrases that connect or tie ideas together)


WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO SHOW LOCATION:

above behind by near throughout

across below down off to the right

against beneath in back of onto under

along beside in front of on top of

among between inside outside

around beyond into over



WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO SHOW TIME:

while first meanwhile soon then

after second today later next

at third tomorrow afterward as soon as

before now next week immediately when

during until yesterday finally suddenly


WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO COMPARE TWO THINGS:

likewise as while in the same way

like also similarly



WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO CONTRAST THINGS (SHOW DIFFERENCES):

but still although on the other hand

however yet otherwise even though



WORD THAT CAN BE USED TO EMPHASIZE A POINT:

again truly especially for this reason

to repeat in fact to emphasize



WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO CONCLUDE OR SUMMARIZE:

finally as a result to sum up in conclusion

lastly therefore all in all because



WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO ADD INFORMATION:

again another for instance for example

also and moreover additionally

as well besides along with other

next finally in addition



WORDS THAT CAN BE USED TO CLARIFY:

that is for instance in other words

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY


The writer tells how she feels.


The writer shows why

this place is special.

Each middle paragraph focuses on a different part of the yard.

The underlined phrases show the organization of the essay.

The writer makes a final comment about the topic.

When I stand on our back step and look out, I see more than just a backyard. I see my family’s “summer home,” a small, relaxing plot of land protected by a redwood fence.
When my mom’s job forced us to move into the city, she decided to create a quiet place for us to relax. That’s just what she did in our backyard. With a lot of work, we now have a peaceful “getaway” to enjoy.
Along the fence at the left side of the yard are my mom’s famous red rosebushes. They explode with color all summer long. A flat stone walkway running in front of the bushes makes it easy to admire and smell the flowers. These stones are smooth and warm against my bare feet.
Against the back fence is a small white shed. The shed holds my mom’s garden tools and an old push mower. It also holds our bicycles and a lot of sports equipment, including my favorite basketballs. On rainy days, I like to stand in the shed and hear the raindrops hitting the metal roof.
My mother’s vegetable garden runs next to the fence on the right side of the yard. Mom always plants beans in that space. As the bean plants grow, she carefully ties them in stakes to keep them from falling over. In the front of this garden is a row of golden yellow marigolds. Their distinct smell is supposed to keep the rabbits away from the beans.
The heart of our yard is the lawn itself. A crab apple tree towers over the back of the yard and provides plenty of shade. In front of the tree is a wooden lawn swing that gets plenty of use, especially in the evening. To the right of the swing is a yellow plastic sand box where my little brother and sister play for hours at a time.
Beyond my yard lies a busy city. On hot summer nights, when we relax in the yard, I can hear the rush of freeway traffic and the call of far-off train whistles. I’m sure that someday I’ll join the traffic or follow the train whistles, but for now I’m happy right here.



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