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Descriptive Essay Lesson Plans 6th Grade

Product Description

This packet contains two unique hands-on descriptive writing activities for 3rd through 6th grade students.

The first activity, Spice It Up, is designed to help students during a quick editing process (such as during a writing assessment) to replace their 'run of the mill' vocabulary with more effective word choices to influence the reader. This activity has students working in teams with the vocabulary cards (templates included) to create a list of synonyms to improve their writing.

The second activity, Cut & Paste, teaches students where and how to elaborate both in their own writing and others. This activity provides sample paragraphs that are missing information allowing for the students to pinpoint specific areas to elaborate. This is a step-by-step activity that shows students where to highlight and cut their papers in order to allow for more descriptive details.

Along with the above program, I have also developed a variety of writing and language arts activity books that make teaching these lessons fun and effective. Please click on the links below to preview these activity books.

Additional Writing Activity & Language Arts Programs

• Just Write: A Sentence
• Letters from Ted E. Bear - Friendly Letter Writing Activities
• Just Write: A Paragraph
• Just Conventions - Daily Grammar and Conventions Practice
• Daily Grammar Lesson Integrated with Science - 3rd Grade
• Daily Grammar Lesson Integrated with Science - 4rd Grade
• Daily Grammar Lesson Integrated with Science - 5rd Grade
• Teaching Research Skills

My Complete Grade Level Writing Programs

• Kindergarten Writing Program
• 1st Grade Writing Program
• 2nd Grade Writing Program
• 3rd Grade Expository Writing Program
• 3rd Grade Narrative Writing Program
• Expository Writing for 4th - 6th Grade
• Narrative Writing for 4th - 6th Grade

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Just Write: With Details & Elaboration by Kathryn Robinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.writemath.com.

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Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



When teaching a lesson on descriptive writing, students may write descriptively in the moment, but once the lesson is over, they tend to revert to their former ways. This lesson helps students learn to apply effective writing techniques on their own over time without constant reminders from the teacher.

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Show-Me Sentences Handout: This handout provides an example of a revised “show-me” sentence and six exercises for students to practice.

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Baines, L., & Kunkel, A. (2010). Going bohemian: How to teach writing like you mean it (2nd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • Writing activities that help students integrate precise, vivid language simultaneously build critical thinking skills.

  • Writing is the cornerstone of all subject areas and the Common Core. Revising to create “showing” sentences systematically helps improve writing competence.


Dyson, A. (2008). Playing with textual toys. In Flood, J., Heath, S.B., & Lapp, D. (Eds.),Handbook of research on teaching literacy through the communicative and visual arts (Vol 2, pp. 461–470). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • While working with young children, Dyson finds that an attitude of playfulness and sense of fun helps students gain mastery over aspects of their writing. The same principle applies to adolescents and young adults.

  • External stimuli prompt students to construct their own sentences and stories.


Smith, C.H. (2010). “Diving in deeper”: Bringing basic writers’ thinking to the surface. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(8), 668–676.

  • When students have opportunities to revise, to observe, and to participate in peers’ revisions, they learn metacognitive strategies that transfer to their own writing.

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