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Writing to Describe: A Street Scene

In this worksheet, students revise some of the features of descriptive writing then plan and write a description of a street under exam conditions.

'Writing to Describe: A Street Scene' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This activity is designed to help prepare you for the descriptive writing you will be asked to do for your GCSE. You will revise the features of descriptive writing then plan and write an extended piece.

 

 

You are going to produce a piece of writing that describes a street. You can decide whether it is a busy street in the daytime or an empty street at night. Look at these images of streets to help you:

 

                  Dark alleyway with stone walls                  Busy street with crowds of people walking

 

                  Foggy road at night with cars parked at the side                    Outside an office building with people wearing suits

 

Now you are going to revise the features of descriptive writing.

 

Match the linguistic devices below to the correct example which uses each. 

Column A

Column B

Use a range of interesting adjectives
'The cat screeched. Silence. In the light of the e...
Use adverbs to tell the reader how something is do...
'The soldier streetlamps stood on parade guarding ...
Use metaphors to describe something as something e...
'The pale, full moon shone over the quiet, desolat...
Use similes to compare something to something else...
'The rubbish blew down the road like forgotten con...
Use onomatopoeia to help describe sounds
'The dreary, desolate, depressing street'
Use alliteration to create an impact
'The leaves crunched under his feet as he left the...
Use a range of sentence structures - try to mix lo...
'The man walked slowly and unsteadily down the roa...
Use the five senses
'The smell of cooking wafted onto the street, ming...

How many different descriptive techniques can you remember?

 

List as many as you can. Can you remember all 8?

Now you are going to plan your piece of writing describing a street either in the daytime or at night.

You may wish to plan it around the five senses, adding words and phrases that use some of the descriptive techniques. 

Make sure you try and use a mind map or bullet points.

 

A suggested plan for a 5 paragraph response could be:

Paragraph 1: Introduce a key character 

Paragraph 2: Describe the setting

Paragraph 3: Introduce a second character

Paragraph 4: Describe the two characters meeting. Include some dialogue

Paragraph 5: Describe what happens

 

Have a go at using the ideas above to create your own plan. Think about who your characters are and where this is to add some detail to the plan. Spend no more than 10 minutes on this.

Now write your descriptive piece.

You should do this under exam conditions and take no more than 40 minutes. 

 

Remember all the descriptive techniques we have revised. The more you can use, the better your mark will be.

 

You can refer to your plan by pressing the 'Previous' button to go back.

 

If you want to, you can use these sentence starters to help you.

  • Knowing the rain was setting in, Bill...
  • Suddenly, the street was too...
  • In his desperation, he knocked...
  • When he looked up, he noticed...
  • Her eyes clouded over for a second, but then...

Planning your piece of writing is really important to make sure your thoughts are organised and that you have enough to write.

 

What are the different ways you could create a plan?

 

Mind map

Paragraphs

Bullet points

Leaflet

Diagram

Proof reading is a vital skill to develop, to make sure you are catching any mistakes you may have made before the examiners see your work.

There are four main types of errors you should look for: spellings, use of capital letters, punctuation errors and tense errors.

Can you identify the errors in this paragraph?

 

 

 

Jean glanced around nervously. She definitely herd someone in the house. She looks around for something to protect herself with but found nothing. Taking a few deep breath\'s to stedy herself, she walked towards the stairs.

Can you identify the errors in this paragraph?

 

 

 

The sun blazed down on the pavement as Greg trudged wearily along. He hated the sumer. He much prefered the cool of the Autumn to the oppresive summer heat. Maddie had always found that strange; she loved the sun. Greg turns his head away at the thought of Maddie, almost like he is trying to shake it out of his head. He did not want to think about her today.

When you are writing, make sure you try to avoid starting all of your sentences the same way, especially with words like 'he', 'it', or 'the'.

For example, instead of 'He looked down the road,' you could use 'Looking down the road, he noticed an old woman struggling with her shopping.'

 

Can you try and put some interesting vocabulary at the beginning of this sentence?

The sun blazed down on the pavement as Greg trudged wearily along. He hated the sumer. He much prefered the cool of the Autumn to the oppresive summer heat. Maddie had always found that strange; she loved the sun. Greg turns his head away at the thought of Maddie, almost like he is trying to shake it out of his head. He did not want to think about her today.

There are other ways of starting your sentences. Using adjectives adds detail to your writing 

For example, 'Yellow leaves fell from the trees, signaling the start of Autumn.'

 

Can you try and put an interesting adjective at the beginning of this sentence?

The sun blazed down on the pavement as Greg trudged wearily along. He hated the sumer. He much prefered the cool of the Autumn to the oppresive summer heat. Maddie had always found that strange; she loved the sun. Greg turns his head away at the thought of Maddie, almost like he is trying to shake it out of his head. He did not want to think about her today.

Can you identify the errors in this paragraph?

 

 

 

The horn of the car\'s blared loudly as Ben ran across the road. Holding his hand up in apology, he nods his head to the drivers. The traffic was always crazy on a Monday, but this was ridiculous.
  • Question 1

Now you are going to revise the features of descriptive writing.

 

Match the linguistic devices below to the correct example which uses each. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Use a range of interesting adject...
'The pale, full moon shone over t...
Use adverbs to tell the reader ho...
'The man walked slowly and unstea...
Use metaphors to describe somethi...
'The soldier streetlamps stood on...
Use similes to compare something ...
'The rubbish blew down the road l...
Use onomatopoeia to help describe...
'The leaves crunched under his fe...
Use alliteration to create an imp...
'The dreary, desolate, depressing...
Use a range of sentence structure...
'The cat screeched. Silence. In t...
Use the five senses
'The smell of cooking wafted onto...
EDDIE SAYS
Remember to use descriptive writing techniques when creating your own description. The most effective ones to use are metaphor and personification.
Perhaps take some time to create your own examples which use each of these devices, and make sure to practise the others too.
  • Question 2

How many different descriptive techniques can you remember?

 

List as many as you can. Can you remember all 8?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Give one mark for each of the following:

Adjectives

Adverbs

Metaphors

Similes

Onomatopoeia

Alliteration

Variety of sentences, mixing short and long

Five senses

  • Question 3

Now you are going to plan your piece of writing describing a street either in the daytime or at night.

You may wish to plan it around the five senses, adding words and phrases that use some of the descriptive techniques. 

Make sure you try and use a mind map or bullet points.

 

A suggested plan for a 5 paragraph response could be:

Paragraph 1: Introduce a key character 

Paragraph 2: Describe the setting

Paragraph 3: Introduce a second character

Paragraph 4: Describe the two characters meeting. Include some dialogue

Paragraph 5: Describe what happens

 

Have a go at using the ideas above to create your own plan. Think about who your characters are and where this is to add some detail to the plan. Spend no more than 10 minutes on this.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A plan could include: some key phrases, spellings, examples of writing techniques, as well as ideas about plot, character and setting.
  • Question 4

Now write your descriptive piece.

You should do this under exam conditions and take no more than 40 minutes. 

 

Remember all the descriptive techniques we have revised. The more you can use, the better your mark will be.

 

You can refer to your plan by pressing the 'Previous' button to go back.

 

If you want to, you can use these sentence starters to help you.

  • Knowing the rain was setting in, Bill...
  • Suddenly, the street was too...
  • In his desperation, he knocked...
  • When he looked up, he noticed...
  • Her eyes clouded over for a second, but then...
CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Model response:

Knowing the rain was setting in, Bill headed for the nearest cover he could find: a bus stop, already crammed with people taking shelter from the driving rain. The water hit the pavement like bullets, and a vision of soldiers screaming at him flashed into Bill's mind.
Suddenly, the street was too crowded. Bill couldn't breathe. The memory wrapped itself around his throat and squeezed. He had to get out of there
In his desperation, he knocked a woman's arm and her bag fell to the sodden floor.
"Sorry," Bill mumbled, reddening at his awkwardness. He looked up and caught the woman's eye. He gasped. "Katherine?"
Her eyes clouded over for a second, but then it was her turn to blush. She looked away, unable to hold Bill's steady gaze. She turned and ran, leaving her bag and its contents waiting in the rain.
  • Question 5

Planning your piece of writing is really important to make sure your thoughts are organised and that you have enough to write.

 

What are the different ways you could create a plan?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Mind map
Bullet points
EDDIE SAYS
Try to make sure your plan is short. Bullet points and mind maps are the best way of jotting your ideas down quickly, to leave you plenty of time to write your response.
  • Question 6

Proof reading is a vital skill to develop, to make sure you are catching any mistakes you may have made before the examiners see your work.

There are four main types of errors you should look for: spellings, use of capital letters, punctuation errors and tense errors.

Can you identify the errors in this paragraph?

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Jean glanced around nervously. She definitely herd someone in the house. She looks around for something to protect herself with but found nothing. Taking a few deep breath's to stedy herself, she walked towards the stairs.
EDDIE SAYS
'Herd' and 'stedy' are both missing a letter, so they are spelling mistakes. They should be spelled 'heard' and 'steady'.
The rest of the paragraph is in past tense, so 'looks' is incorrect because it is in the present.
'Breaths' shouldn't have an apostrophe as it is just saying she is taking more than one breath.
  • Question 7

Can you identify the errors in this paragraph?

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The sun blazed down on the pavement as Greg trudged wearily along. He hated the sumer. He much prefered the cool of the Autumn to the oppresive summer heat. Maddie had always found that strange; she loved the sun. Greg turns his head away at the thought of Maddie, almost like he is trying to shake it out of his head. He did not want to think about her today.
EDDIE SAYS
'Sumer', 'prefered' and 'oppresive' are spelling mistakes. They should each have a double letter; summer, preferred and oppressive.
The rest of the paragraph is in past tense, so 'turns' and 'is' are incorrect because they are in the present.
'Autumn' doesn't require a capital letter as it is not a proper noun.
  • Question 8

When you are writing, make sure you try to avoid starting all of your sentences the same way, especially with words like 'he', 'it', or 'the'.

For example, instead of 'He looked down the road,' you could use 'Looking down the road, he noticed an old woman struggling with her shopping.'

 

Can you try and put some interesting vocabulary at the beginning of this sentence?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Using a verb, or doing word, at the beginning of a sentence is a great way of engaging the reader.
  • Question 9

There are other ways of starting your sentences. Using adjectives adds detail to your writing 

For example, 'Yellow leaves fell from the trees, signaling the start of Autumn.'

 

Can you try and put an interesting adjective at the beginning of this sentence?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Remember to include detail and adjectives throughout your writing, as well as at the beginning of your sentences.
  • Question 10

Can you identify the errors in this paragraph?

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The horn of the car's blared loudly as Ben ran across the road. Holding his hand up in apology, he nods his head to the drivers. The traffic was always crazy on a Monday, but this was ridiculous.
EDDIE SAYS
'Car's' doesn't need the apostrophe as it is just indicating more than one car
The rest of the paragraph is in past tense, so 'nods' is incorrect because it is in the present.
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