Tuesday 11th June 2024

Descriptive Writing - Introduction

LO: to consider how we approach descriptive writing

Select four adjectives to describe yesterday's weather

how would the perspectives of a taxi driver and a penthouse-dweller be different, when talking about the storm?

The storm was...

Mind-map some words and phrases to describe the storm. Try to include language which is:

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Fearful
  • Amazed

Scales and Perspectives

The best descriptive writing considers its subject (the storm, in our case) from multiple perspectives.

Write a short descriptive paragraph from the perspective of each of these people.

A pilot above Dubai Someone in their car A mouse
"As I gazed from the cockpit, I could see..." "The rain thudded on my windscreen, as I..." "I curled my tail around myself, and..."
Tuesday 11th June 2024

Descriptive Writing - Drafting

re-read your work from last lesson. Which perspective did you find most interesting and why?

CHALLENGE: Which offers the most emotional view of the storm?

Expanding our writing

Take the three perspectives you worked on last lesson and expand them. Then, try to connect the paragraphs into a single piece of writing.

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Descriptive Writing Structuring

LO: To consider how we can improve the structure of our descriptive writing.

Write a sentence to describe the atmosphere of this room. Do not use the words 'hot', 'warm' or 'stuffy'

CHALLENGE: Write it with an additional atmosphere of dread.

Write a list of six elements you could describe in this picture, putting them in order of size.

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Reshaping our descriptions

Finish your story boards, then start re-writing your description to follow the flow you've planned.

Can you write from an alternative perspective?

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Creating Characters

LO: To consider how we can add human elements to our scene

Which five adjectives would someone use to describe you?

Would you friends use different adjectives to a stranger? What's the first impression you give off?

Pick three faces from this crowd. Write three sentences to describe each one of them:

  1. Their appearance
  2. Their personality
  3. Their hopes, worries and thoughts
Tuesday 11th June 2024

Sensory Overload

LO: To consider how we can enhance the realism of our writing through sensory description

Write five sentences describing the picture here, covering each of the five senses:

  1. sight
  2. smell
  3. touch
  4. hear
  5. taste

Enhancing with senses

There is a man standing at the entrance of station. He is wearing a blue shirt and looks sad. He is bald.

Rewrite this paragraph using at least four of the five senses.

Write it from his perspective!

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Crafting a narrative

LO: to consider how we can develop effective narrative writing

Summarise AIC and Macbeth into these 4 bullets:
  1. The story begins with...
  2. Things change when...
  3. Then, the characters...
  4. In the end...

Can you remember what technical terms we used to describe these four stages in the tragic arc?

Ordering, structure and sequence

Unlike descriptive writing, narrative writing needs to follow a structure, generally...

  1. Setting the scene
  2. Introducing the characters
  3. Establishing a conflict
  4. Tackling that conflict in a climax
  5. A conclusion, showing things changed by the events

Using these images, construct a rough narrative, fitting the four line structure we discussed at the beginning of the lesson.

Re-arrange your images and tell a different story.

Beginnings and Endings

A good opening needs to set the scene, and catch the reader's attention.

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his chest in an effort to escape the vile wind, and slipped quickly through the glass doors.

'Nineteen Eighty-Four', George Orwell

What makes this opening stand out? What does it tell the reader?

Writing our own

Write an opening paragraph (2 to 4 sentences) for the story you drafted earlier in the lesson.

Write a closing paragraph which echoes the opening.

Assessment Preparation

To consolidate our knowledge ahead of next month's assessment

Write a TWO sentences, describing this scene, without using the words:

  • THE
  • SAND
  • HOT
  • SUN
  • SKY

Narrative Vs Description

As part of your assessment, you'll have the choice of either a NARRATIVE or a DESCRIPTIVE question.

Which would you choose? Why?

What are the differences in writing style required for these?

Plan a response in four bulletpoints for each of these tasks.

Descriptive: Describe preparations you make for an important journey

Narrative: Write a story with the title CANCELLED

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Improving our writing

Continue planning a response in four bulletpoints for each of these tasks.

Descriptive: Describe preparations you make for an important journey

Narrative: Write a story with the title 'CANCELLED'

Which is easier? Why?

Planning a Narrative

Using the plan you've made for Cancelled, try to answer these questions:

  1. When: Year? Review or chronological?
  2. Who: Character(s)
  3. Where: locations
  4. What: Issue/Problem
  5. Whose Perspective: either from the outside, as an observant, omniscient narrator, or from the point of view of one of the characters, also as a first-person narrator

Can you present your narrative from multiple perspectives.

Mapping our Narrative

Plot the main events of your story onto the Narrative Arc

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Establishing characters

Continue plotting your story's narrative onto the Arc

Hello world! How are you?

Building believable characters

  1. Appearance
  2. Actions
  3. Speech

Telling, not showing ๐Ÿฅฑ

The old man was tired and sad. His hair was grey and he was wearing a jacket and green jumper. He was thinking about his dead wife and he said "I really miss her."

โš ๏ธ Don't do this โคด๏ธ

Show, don't tell


The old man was tired and sad. His hair was grey and he was wearing a jacket and green jumper.
He was thinking about his dead wife and he said "I really miss her."

Write down four visual things we could see about the man's appearance which would suggest he was tired and sad

E.g. "His eyes were half-closed with sleep."

Write a further four things about his actions which would indicate these emotions.

Actions are louder than words


The old man was tired and sad. His hair was grey and he was wearing a jacket and green jumper.
He was thinking about his dead wife and he said "I really miss her."

Now, re-write that last sentence; it's way too obvious.

How can we convey the same thing through his actions?

Describe how he walks across the room and picks up a picture.

Do not use the words: wife, miss, widow or alone

Reading between the lines


The old man was tired and sad. His hair was grey and he was wearing a jacket and green jumper.
He was thinking about his dead wife and he said "I really miss her."

Finally, write a phone conversation between him and his daughter. Show that he is sad, but doesn't want her to know.

Only write his side of the conversation

At the end, switch to her perspective, and what she imagines he feels.

PLENARY: Putting it all together

Take your writing this lesson and put it together into two or three paragraphs. Check it all flows together and makes sense.

Tuesday 11th June 2024

NGRT Reading test

Open up your device and find your code on Teams. Then, open the link and enter your code.
DO NOT start the test until I tell you!


When you finish, read your book

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Descriptive Practice

Write down a bulleted list of three of the six senses you would experience, being in this scene.

Capturing what matters

In a moment, I am going to show your a picture

You will have one minute to look at it, then I will ask you to write down what you can remember.


๐ŸŒŠ โ›ต ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐ŸŒ…

  1. Summarise what the picture shows in as many sentences as possible.
  2. What would you describe the atmosphere of the scene as?
  3. Write one sensory element for each of the six senses.
  4. Note down the emotions of two people in the scene

Combining into a perspective

Pick the perspective of someone in the scene.

Write a letter from them to someone of your choosing (a sibling, a spouse, a friend etc), describing the scene.

Tuesday 11th June 2024

GL Preparation

LO: To consider how we can prepare for Thursday's test

Read the text for today's lesson, 'Hidden Secrets'

Then: Write a three bullet-point summary of what this text is about.

Paragraphs 1 & 2

Copy down the question, then write an answer

Q1: Why has the writer included a list of buildings?
Q2: Which word in para 2 means challenge?
Q3: Which language techniques can you spot in this section? Some examples...

  • Speech
  • Anecdote
  • metaphor
  • simile
  • second person pronouns

Paragraphs 3 - 5

Q4: How would you describe the writer's feelings towards stately homes? Finish this sentence: "I think stately homes are..."
Q5: What is a priest hole? Explain in one sentence

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Continuing GL Prep

Re-read yesterday's text. Who would you recommend it to?


Q6: What is the writer's intention with this text?

  • Who could it be for?
  • What does the writer want us to feel?
  • What do they want us to understand?

Highlight/underline all the SPaG errors

I got up slowly fished the alarm clock out of the bin (the poor thing's getting used
to being hurled there each morning, and headed downstairs for my usual three
bowls of cereal. My brothers eyes never left their phones, as I joined them
at the table but that was normal. It was the look on Mum's face that gave me
a clue. She was knee-deep in frowns it wasn't the most welcoming sight.
Of course then my brain started to rewind, slowly but surely, to the
previous evening's adventures. "Just two or three friends, she'd warned before
heading out to her evening class "okay?" Two or three? Make that twelve!
But, after all, a birthday is a birthday especially a sixteenth!

Tuesday 11th June 2024

Starting our writing

Complete definitions for these two terms:

Narrative writing: ......

Descriptive writing: ......

Which do you think is more difficult to do in a timed exam? Why?


Example question:
Describe a time you were in a new place.

Start by brainstorming a suitable 'place' to write about.

You do not have to actually have been there!
(How would the examiners know?)

Bullet-point some sensory descriptions of the place

Starting to write

Example question:
Describe a time you were in a new place.

Write the first paragraph of your response to this, without using the words: I, Me, When, Where, New or Place.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Starting zoomed in on a single detail
  • Focussing on a single sense
  • Writing from a perspective different from your own
  • Not revealing the location until the second paragraph

Using extended metaphors

The cold came to us like a thief in the night. You didn't notice it at first: it would creep in through the windows, under the doors, sneaking through gaps in the masonry. It would steal away what little warmth you still had. It would slide its icy fingers into pockets and up sleeves, taking and taking, until you realised all the heat you'd been saving had been snatched from you. No matter what defences we put up, it would always find a way to sneak in.

The central simile here compares the cold to a thief. Write down all the words used that link to the idea of a thief.

Why is this a better simile to use than - say - a dog?

Creating our own new extended metaphors

Now, write your own extended metaphor, suitable for the description you're working on. Some ideas to get you going:

  • The landscape was like a painter's canvas...
  • The sea was a blanket...
  • The sound of the crowd was like an orchestra...
  • The warmth of the sun spread over us like sleep...

... or write your own!

Write two alternative extended metaphors, one presenting the place positively and one negatively.

Describe a time you were in a new place.

Complete your descriptive writing response.

  • Content is complex, engaging and effective. (W1)
  • Structure is secure, well balanced and carefully managed for deliberate effect. (W2)
  • Many well-defined and developed ideas and images create a convincing overall picture with varieties of focus.
  • Precise, well-chosen vocabulary and varied sentence structures, chosen for effect. (W3)
  • Consistent well-chosen register suitable for the context. (W4)
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar almost always accurate. (W5)

How to plan a good response

LO: To consider how we can improve the way we plan our answers before writing

Write a title for a story based on this picture

Write a basic plan for the story in three bullets

Against the clock โฒ๏ธ

Time is of the essence in the exam, and planning is essential.

The exam board recommends you write no more than about 350 words.

That translates to about three paragraphs.

Why do we need to plan? What elements should you decide on before you start writing? Write down three bullets.

Planning Narrative ๐Ÿƒ

  • WHO will your protagonist be? Will they also be the narrator?
  • WHERE is your narrative taking place?
  • WHY is this story worth telling? What makes the events exceptional?
  • WHEN does your narrative begin?
    • At the start, proceeding chronologically?
    • At the end then flashing back?
    • In the middle of the action? (In Media Res)
  • HOW could you shift focus or perspective? (Examiners love this sort of thing)
  • WHAT will be the conclusion of your narrative? (It must have a conclusion.)

Planning Descriptive ๐Ÿ”

  • HOW will you scale your description? ๐Ÿ”ฌ vs ๐Ÿ”ญ
    • Start zoomed out, describing the whole scene, then zoom in on detail?
    • Or focus on one small element then gradually zoom out?
  • WHAT atmosphere or mood are you trying to achieve? ๐ŸŽญ
    • Is it happy, sad, frightening, gloomy, exhausting etc
  • WHICH senses can you incorporate? ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘ƒ ๐Ÿ‘… ๐Ÿ‘‚ ๐ŸคŒ

Choose your prompt

Narrative: Write a story in which something impossible happens.

Descriptive: Write a description entitled "The Joy of Loneliness"

Now, plan your response to one of these.

And plan the other!