three random adjectives...can they inspire a description?
The Adjective Game
press each button below until you find THREE NOUNS
you can put together in an interesting story
Student Instructions: Press the three buttons below until you have one noun and three adjectives that you could combine to build a story-idea. Plan your story in your head. Think of some good details you'll want to include. Then write the story and share it with a friend.
Hey, young writers....can you write a story based on three interesting adjectives? Click the three buttons below to find out!
...and then write a great story!
Writing Challenge: Try to use synonyms and similes as you describe!
Teacher Instructions: If you do have access to any wordless picture book, play the "Adjective-Adjective" game. Decide who goes first. Open the book to a page, and the first person points at an item and describes it with an adjective from their own heads. They go back and forth for a minute or two, then decide which were the two best adjectives they thought up for that page. They can repeat this for several pages to warm up their brains to using adjectives, or describing words.
The same game can be played with a full-page photo from National Geographic or any similar magazine.
After warming up with adjectives by applying them to pictures without any words, have students click the four buttons above until they find a combination of ideas they could write a story about.
Before writing, here's what I tell the little writers:
It's more fun to tell a story about your object than just describe it! Come up with a story idea about your object with a beginning, middle, and end.
Tell a partner your story out loud before you place any words on the page. Know your whole story idea before you start writing it.
You may only use the three adjectives you are given one time in your story. Find synonyms or use similes to strengthen your description.
I have always felt that thesauruses often harm my students' writing more than they help. During my last year of teaching, I had Donnie, who looked up the word empty in the thesaurus because he didn't think it was a good enough adjective for the empty box in his story. Blindly, Donnie chose the word untenanted as his synonym. His character found an untenanted box in the attic, and Donnie actually thought he'd improved his writing by taking it through this type of revision process. You have to be careful with thesauruses because they don't teach writing skills; they provide lists of synonyms, usually without context at all.
If your students select a synonym for their adjective they've never seen before, require them to look the word up and discuss it before deciding if it's the right word. Untenanted was absolutely the wrong word, and Donnie and I could have cleared the whole misunderstanding up with a conversation before he wrote down a word he was unfamiliar with.
With all our kid prompts, we're looking for student samples inspired by the prompt above on this page. If you end up with a writer who impresses you by a) brainstorming ideas and options first, b) drafting a good idea with details, and c) revising the writing so that it sounds polished, and d) editing the writing so it's error-free.
Student Samples? If you have a student sample inspired by this page's interactive prompt, and if it would excite that student to have it be seen, please post it as a reply to this Pin at our Pinterest Board of Kid Prompts. Kindly, do not post students' last names. I'm looking for K-5 samples to share on this page, and I'll send you a gift from our Teachers Pay Teachers store if we end up publishing your student at this page as an exemplar for other students to enjoy and analyze.