Describe Your Classmate to Encourage Writing with Details

Describe Your Classmate Activities

Using a describe your classmate activity is a great way to start to help your students develop their writing skills. Schools everywhere are always looking for new ways to increase the quality of their students’ writing, and it seems as if many educators say that one area where their students fall short is in writing with details.

Students are often eager to get their message onto paper, but need several drafts before they have turned their work into an engaging piece that truly captures their audience.  Adding details to writing is one of the main ways that students can make their writing more appealing, yet standardized tests show that this is an area where a majority fall short.

Try this fun describe your classmate activity to encourage children to write with details, and show them what that term really means.  This activity will encourage them to write descriptive paragraphs and allows for social interaction between the students. This activity is also great for reinforcing what an adjective is and how they are used correctly to describe their classmates

  1. Randomly pair students in your room.
  2. Have them sit across from each other and take a few minutes to really look closely at what the other student is wearing, and their defining characteristics.
  3. Students write a detailed description of the other student, leaving out their name.
  4. Teacher collects the papers and reads them aloud, with the class guessing who is being described in the paper.
  5. If there are not enough details for the class to guess, then the teacher can use that as a teaching point to add more details to make the subject more obvious.

Distinguished English has a great free download on their store to use with this activity.

Refer to the lesson when you are conferencing with students to remind them of how a story looks when it includes plenty of details!

This describe your classmate activity is good for using at the beginning of the school year when students, especially those new to your classroom, may feel a little intimidated. It is a great way for them to get to know their new classmates.

If you are looking for more activities to get your students writing then download our

Free RAFTS Journaling Resource .



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Irene Reardon

Irene holds a Bachelor of Science (Applied Psychology), and Certificate in TESOL and a Certificate in the Teaching of Children with Dyslexia. Fifteen years experience in developing education programs and resources for Early Childhood and Primary Educators.

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