Daily Archives: September 30, 2014

7 1/2 – Descriptive Writing

We are learning to write descriptively, so that our words paint a vivid picture in our readers’ minds.  Using the five senses helps to achieve this. We can describe what something:

  • looks like
  • moves like
  • smells like
  • sounds like
  • feels like (emotionally and physically)
  • tastes like

We can use metaphors and similes to help describe unfamiliar things to our audience, or to describe everyday things with a fresh look. (E.g., the lazy orange slept in fruit basket – creates a mood)

A simile is a figure of speech in which two things that are not obviously like each other are compared to make a description more vivid. A simile will often use “like” or “as”.

  1. The piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness
  2. a small strawberry-pink villa, like some exotic fruit lying in the greenery
  3. the cypress-trees undulated gently in the breeze, as if they were busily painting the sky
  4. roses dropped petals that seemed as big and smooth as saucers
  5. marigolds like broods of shaggy suns
  6. a thousand ballerina-like blooms quivered expectantly.

Metaphors are like concentrated similes. In a metaphor two dissimilar things are compared but rather than saying one is like the other, a metaphor goes a stage further and makes one thing become another.

  • Her smile was my sun
  • The detective listened to her tales with a wooden face.
  • She was fairly certain that life was a fashion show.
  • The typical teenage boy’s room is a disaster area.
  • What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep.
  • The children were roses grown in concrete gardens, beautiful and forlorn.
  • Kisses are the flowers of love in bloom.

Classroom similes:

  •  as thin as a strawberry wafer
  • as bald as a senior citizen as a a hair cut
  • as smart as a textbook
  • as bald as Caillou after a haircut
  • as poor as a homeless man’s piggy bank
  • as a strong as an Olympian weightlifter
  • as poor as a farmer after a drought
  • as strong as a bull on steriods
  • as white a fresh snow
  • as smart as a rock that never went to school
  • as neat as your house before guests arrive
  • as dumb as a cliche that everyone uses
  • as smart as a salesman on a quota
  • as dumb as the Cleveland Browns staff on draft day
  • as bald as Madison’s dad
  • as poor as the dead after a grave robbery
  • as smart as a man in a tux /  woman in a suit
  • as bald as a peeled potato


Write one really creative, unexpected simile tonight to share with the class tomorrow. Be observant at home. What can you compare your little sister to? Describe how your dad eats dinner. etc…

Posted in General, Language, Writing | 3 Comments