ALEX Lesson Plan


How to Write a Descriptive Essay

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Norma McMillan
System: Huntsville City
School: Rolling Hills Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6896


How to Write a Descriptive Essay


The students will learn to write a descriptive essay about a three-day space camp experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Students will then produce a multimedia slideshow about the experience.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
10. Use digital environments to collaborate and communicate.
Examples: publishing online journals, sharing presentations, contributing to online discussions, communicating with experts
  • Producing digital works collaboratively
  • Examples: developing shared writing projects and group multimedia projects
    ELA2015 (4)
    23. Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. [W.4.2]
    a. Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.4.2a]
    b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic. [W.4.2b]
    c. Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because). [W.4.2c]
    d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. [W.4.2d]
    e. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented. [W.4.2e]
    ELA2015 (4)
    39. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.4.2]
    a. Use correct capitalization. [L.4.2a]
    b. Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text. [L.4.2b]
    c. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. [L.4.2c]
    d. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.4.2d]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will describe a class field trip, using the steps of the writing process. Students will create a slideshow presentation on a given topic.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will use correct grammar, mechanics, and sentence and paragraph structure. Students will expand vocabulary. Students will explain the steps of the writing process. Students will demonstrate basic computer skills using publishing, presentation, and word processing software.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    colored felt pen, overhead projector

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, word processing and presentation software (such as MS Word and PowerPoint), printer, LCD projector or other projection device, digital camera or scanner


    Students will be familiar with the steps involved in the writing process, the differences between the three modes of writing that are studied in fourth grade (Narrative, Descriptive, and Expository), and have a basic knowledge of presentation and word processing software.

    1.)The teacher will model the writing process steps for a Descriptive Essay for the class using the overhead projector, computer with projection device or a Smartboard. There will be a review of the characteristics in each mode of writing (Narrative, Descriptive, and Expository).
    (The Writing Process)
    This site features an overview of the writing process and defines each of the modes and forms of writing.

    2.)The students will review the steps in the writing process in a hands-on manner, using peer collaboration for the revising step.
    (Steps in the Writing Process)
    This site defines each step in the writing process.

    3.)Students will proceed through the first two steps of the writing process (brainstorming, and rough draft) in a single class session of forty minutes. The teacher will review the student work.

    4.)In the second session, revising with peer collaboration will take place. Proofreading, using the proofreading marks, will follow the revising. This will conclude the second session.

    5.)The third session will be devoted to preparing the final draft. Each student will prepare a slideshow presentation using text from his/her completed description of the field trip. Pictures taken during the field trip may be added (or pictures from the website).
    (Space Camp Online)
    Information about the U.S. Space Camp and Rocket Center.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment of the descriptive essay will be by teacher observation of students correctly using the writing process to prepare the essays. Correct usage of grammar, vocabulary, mechanics, sentence and paragraph structure will be evaluated using a slideshow rubric (attached).


    Students could use persuasive writing to create a brochure encouraging others to visit the Space Camp and Rocket Center.



    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.