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Writing Descriptive Paragraphs

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Writing descriptive paragraphs can be successful as one of the first writing activities for students. Start by helping students understand the difference between simple and complex sentences, and move on to practice writing complex sentences. Students should also be familiar with a wide range of descriptive adjectives. Start by having students answer basic questions below. Next, use the writing exercise to expand the answers into a well formed descriptive paragraph.

Descriptive paragraphs are often used to describe what a person looks and acts like. Read this example descriptive paragraph, notice how descriptive paragraphs are arranged by putting together all the sentences about the same thing.

Here is an example of a descriptive paragraph:

I am forty years old, rather tall and I have blue eyes and short black hair. I wear casual clothes as I teach students in a relaxed atmosphere. I enjoy my job because I get to meet and help so many different people from all over the world. During my spare time, I like playing tennis which I play at least three times a week. I also love listening to classical music and I must admit that I spend a lot of money on buying new CDs! I live in a pretty seaside town on the Italian coast. I enjoy eating great Italian food and laughing with the likable people who live here.

Written Exercise I

Answer these questions about yourself on a piece of paper.

  • How old are you?
  • What do you look like?
  • What kind of clothes do you wear? Why?
  • What kind of job do you do? Do you like it?
  • What are your favorite hobbies? Why do you like them?
  • Where do you live?
  • Do you like living there? Why or why not?
Written Exercise II

Now that you have the information about yourself ready. Fill in the gaps in to complete this descriptive paragraph about yourself.

I am _________ years old, I _________________ (your looks). I wear ________________ because ______________. I am a ______________. I like / don't like my job because _____________________. I enjoy ______________. I often _____________ (describe how often you do your hobby). I also like ________________ (write about another hobby) because ________________. I live in ____________. People in ____________ are ________________ . I enjoy / don't enjoy living in ______________ because ____________.

Practice

Ask your friends the same questions as in exercise I and write paragraphs about them.

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