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Descriptive writing exposes them to some of the more subtle and beautiful aspects of the English Language.
For example, one activity involves words for food, another can be used to teach vocabulary related to travel, etc.
You can do one, a combination of a few or all of the activities, depending on the time you have and the interest of your students. The sentences should be rather basic and lacking description.
However, it’s important to incorporate all of the senses: taste, touch, sight, smell and sound. Then ask your students to think of different ways to describe the classroom using one word from each of the columns on the board. Read a descriptive passage (either your own or one you found online) and have students identify the literary devices and senses that are used.
Alternatively, you can give them two passages to compare and contrast, one that’s lacking descriptive language and one that describes the same thing, but more creatively.
These sentences get the point across too, but they’re more detailed and engaging.
How do you get your ESL students from the first example to the second?
You can introduce different vocabulary related to food such as: salty, bitter, sweet and spicy.
Again, make sure you save time at the end of class for students to share their descriptions.
Once students are familiar with the general concepts of descriptive writing, it’s important to engage them in some exercises and activities to practice their new skills.
Here are some activities you might do with your students.