writing is used for engineering projects, biology
papers, education assignments, etc.
a brief lesson for writing a short essay based on the
description of an ideal house.
1. Develop your students' range of
adjectives and words for emotions in pre-writing
2. Also discuss building the description
from the outside of the house to the inside, and
alternatives for a walk-through.
the Tutorial in Constructing the Paragraph
>5. Ordering Principles for some
ideas on descriptive writing.
3. Have students view the two pictures individually or in
small groups. Then place students in
pairs according to which house they decide they like
best. (TIP: To enhance the lesson visually, you can
search YouTube for videos about different kinds of
houses. Search using "modern house" or
"traditional house." Or use additional cutouts of
photos from magazines.)
4. Encourage students in their pair or
small group to discuss what emotions/feelings the
sample houses elicit? Why are these important?
What kinds of rooms might be important in such a
5. After reviewing the picture together and taking notes,
have students write individually about their favorite
house, explaining why they like it, what emotions they
feel about it, and so on. Allow students to confer with
each other as they write, and make available an online
thesaurus and dictionary.
TWO HOUSES (Use these
pictures, or cutout similar pictures of houses from a
|A. Suggested picture option: Rustic
|B. Suggested picture option: Glass
After writing, have students exchange papers with other
pairs/groups who wrote about a different house. Encourage
discussion of the differences/similarities in the feelings
Students may develop the short writing into a longer
essay, which will undergo revision in a subsequent draft
after peer review.
Please see also the many ideas for essay writing available
Writing YG (membership required), which also includes
Constructing the Paragraph.
Read/Think/Write also has some nice
Flash-based applications for writing different types
of essays. Take a look! (Use the Search engine
in the left sidebar of the site, selecting your Grade
Level, Resource Type, Learning
-- Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith