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Use Powerful Vocabulary and Figurative Language to Describe a Setting

In this worksheet, students read a description of a setting and then write their own description, concentrating on the use of powerful vocabulary and figurative language.

'Use Powerful Vocabulary and Figurative Language to Describe a Setting ' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Composition

Curriculum subtopic:  Create Fiction

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Read this description of a setting from a story.

 

 

Josie emerged from the dunes onto a vast, deserted beach. In the distance the mist wrapped its fingers around the forest and hills, leaving only their tops visible. Seagulls whirled and called overhead, but on the beach itself there was nothing but sharp-smelling seaweed and a few pieces of brittle driftwood.

She paused for breath, aware of the salty breeze cooling her hot cheeks. Surely she would be safe now in this beautiful place?

 

The writer has used a number of techniques to create this description.

In this activity, you will be asked to examine the techniques and then write a description of a setting of your own.

One way of making a description seem more lively is to concentrate on the five senses (what can be seen, heard, smelt, touched and tasted there).

 

 

Read the passage again and tick the four senses that have been mentioned.

 

Josie emerged from the dunes onto a vast, deserted beach. In the distance the mist wrapped its fingers around the forest and hills, leaving only their tops visible. Seagulls whirled and called overhead, but on the beach itself there was nothing but sharp-smelling seaweed and a few pieces of brittle driftwood.

She paused for breath, aware of the salty breeze cooling her hot cheeks. Surely she would be safe now in this beautiful place?

seeing

hearing

smelling

touching (feeling)

tasting

Writers often use figurative language to make a description seem more vivid.

This can include similes (such as 'the sky was as black as night') and metaphors (such as 'the sea was an angry monster').

 

In the description of the beach there is an example of personification, which is a type of figurative language in which non-living things and animals are described as if they are human.

Click on the "Previous" button to look back at the introduction and tick the object that has been personified in the description.

 

 

the dunes

the mist

the seaweed

the hills

When writing a description of a setting it is also important to choose powerful vocabulary, particularly verbs and adjectives.

Which verb has been used to describe the way the seagulls were flying round in circles above Josie's head?

 

Which adjective has been used to show that the beach was very big?

Now you are going to write your own description of a setting.

You could use one of the pictures here or choose somewhere that you have visited or can imagine.

 Try to write your description of the setting as if it is part of a story, rather than just a description of a place.

Remember these things:

Think about what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste, and include at least three of your senses in your description.

Use powerful verbs and adjectives where you can.

Include figurative language such as similes, metaphors or personification.

Write your description in the past tense. It can be in the first person (I) or the third person (he or she), but don't swap between them.

Remember to write in sentences with full stops and capital letters!

  • Question 1

One way of making a description seem more lively is to concentrate on the five senses (what can be seen, heard, smelt, touched and tasted there).

 

 

Read the passage again and tick the four senses that have been mentioned.

 

Josie emerged from the dunes onto a vast, deserted beach. In the distance the mist wrapped its fingers around the forest and hills, leaving only their tops visible. Seagulls whirled and called overhead, but on the beach itself there was nothing but sharp-smelling seaweed and a few pieces of brittle driftwood.

She paused for breath, aware of the salty breeze cooling her hot cheeks. Surely she would be safe now in this beautiful place?

CORRECT ANSWER
seeing
hearing
smelling
touching (feeling)
EDDIE SAYS
Josie can see the seaweed and driftwood; she can hear the seagulls crying; she can smell the seaweed; she can feel the breeze on her cheeks.
The sense of taste is not mentioned here, although she can probably taste the salty air in her mouth.
  • Question 2

Writers often use figurative language to make a description seem more vivid.

This can include similes (such as 'the sky was as black as night') and metaphors (such as 'the sea was an angry monster').

 

In the description of the beach there is an example of personification, which is a type of figurative language in which non-living things and animals are described as if they are human.

Click on the "Previous" button to look back at the introduction and tick the object that has been personified in the description.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
the mist
EDDIE SAYS
The mist is described as wrapping its fingers around the forest and hills.
Mist doesn't actually have fingers, so it has been personified and given a human attribute or feature.
  • Question 3

When writing a description of a setting it is also important to choose powerful vocabulary, particularly verbs and adjectives.

Which verb has been used to describe the way the seagulls were flying round in circles above Josie's head?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
whirl
whirled
whirling
EDDIE SAYS
If you refer to the text, the seagulls are described as whirling and calling overhead.
This choice of verb suggests that the seagulls were flying quickly as well as in circles.
  • Question 4

Which adjective has been used to show that the beach was very big?

CORRECT ANSWER
vast
EDDIE SAYS
In the passage, the opening line is "Josie emerged from the dunes onto a vast, deserted beach."
Vast means of great size, proportion or area and has a similar meaning to enormous, immense or huge.
Deserted means abandoned or without other people.
  • Question 5

Now you are going to write your own description of a setting.

You could use one of the pictures here or choose somewhere that you have visited or can imagine.

 Try to write your description of the setting as if it is part of a story, rather than just a description of a place.

Remember these things:

Think about what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste, and include at least three of your senses in your description.

Use powerful verbs and adjectives where you can.

Include figurative language such as similes, metaphors or personification.

Write your description in the past tense. It can be in the first person (I) or the third person (he or she), but don't swap between them.

Remember to write in sentences with full stops and capital letters!

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Award up to six marks for the description.
1) Award mark if at least three senses have been referred to.
2) Award one mark for appropriate use of powerful vocabulary.
3) Award one mark if there is at least one use of figurative language.
4) Award one mark if the description is written in the past tense.
5) Award one mark if the first or third person is used consistently.
6) Award one mark if sentences are generally correctly punctuated.
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