Students using mini whiteboards, punctuate the sentences. Teachers targets to ask for justification and corrects misconceptions. Teacher could also point out how the sentences start in different ways, linking to the learning in the previous lesson.
What sort of original writing have you read – what novels, autobiographies, articles etc? What are they like – why are they effective? Here is an extract from a particularly good piece of writing. It is creative, descriptive, funny and powerful. If you have read it before…remember being practically able to smell that burnt toast with lines like
The following 3 slides support learners who may need teacher intervention with improving their sentences for effectiveness and variety. Students follow on with improving their writing.
Year 10 GCSE English Language Induction
Sentence Structure and
To make effective language
To vary sentences for effect
Match these word classes up to the correct
• Word Class Definition
• Noun A word which “places” a noun
• Adjective A doing or action word
• Verb A word which avoids repeating a name
• Adverb A word that describes a noun
• Pronouns A person, place or thing
• Prepositions A word that describes a verb
• Copy this list of words and fill in the word class
each belongs to:
Establishing setting – showing not
• Look at the following picture
• Think about the context of the picture – 5Ws
• Think about the senses in relation to the
picture – what could you smell? See? Hear?
Extension thinking: Which genre of writing
would you associate this picture with and
Adjective Noun Verb Adverb
Over to you…
Your challenge is to write a paragraph of
between 40 and 50 words, starting with
The fire raged fiercely through the
• Swap your writing with your peer partner
• Read through their draft writing and identify
the correct use of effective descriptive writing
2 Ticks and a Wish:
• Identify 2 strong adjectives and adverbs that
they have used which help to create vivid
• Identify one thing they need to do to improve
the quality of writing
• The following 4/5 slides can be used as
extension activities for more able groups or
could be used for the start of the following
Changing the order of sentences…
Have a go at ordering the sentences in
front of you…
Starting with a verb (ing)
• The boy was sitting in the chair as he
thought about his life.
• Sitting in the chair, the boy thought back
upon his life
Have a go…
She jumped in fear and screamed loudly
Now a difficult one:
The man hurried along the road, while carsThe man hurried along the road, while cars
streamed past him, his desperation growing.streamed past him, his desperation growing.
HurryingHurrying desperately, the man ran along the road,desperately, the man ran along the road,
as cars streamed past him.as cars streamed past him.
Starting with an adverb…
The detective hurried anxiously through
the rain-swept streets.
Anxiously, the detective hurried through
the rain-swept streets
Now have a go…
• The lady walked nervously towards the
• The tiger crept silently towards his prey.
• Short sentences can add tension and
There was a piercing scream in the
distance before it went quiet. Too quiet.
• Punctuation can be used for effect:
… cliff hangar
; - longer pause than a comma
• Look back at your piece of description of the fire.
Can you now improve it? Focus on:
- using precise and interesting vocabulary
- starting a sentence differently
- using short sentences for effect
- experimenting with punctuation
Use a different colour pen to make the changes.
To do a dull thing with style is
preferable to doing a dangerous
thing without it
• Understand and use effective techniques for
Original Writing in order to aspire to gain C or
• AO3i communicate clearly and imaginatively, using
and adapting forms for different readers and
• AO3ii organise ideas into sentences, paragraphs and
• AO3iii use a range of sentence structures effectively
with accurate punctuation and spelling
Put the correct punctuation into these
• The green misty glass was lying on the
floor shining dangerously.
• Laying carelessly on the floor the
shattered glass was shining.
• Carelessly the shattered glass lay on the
The ‘dull’ things
• You cannot brush past the little details when writing
– the following mark the difference between getting
a C and missing it by a mile.
• Sentence punctuation
• Sentence construction and variation
• Editing for effect
‘My mother burns the toast as surely as the sun rises each
morning. In fact, I doubt if she has ever made a round of toast in
her life that failed to fill the kitchen with plumes of throat-
catching smoke. I am nine now and I have never seen butter
without black bits in it.’
Now it’s your turn…
You will be writing a piece of GCSE coursework that must be
• In order to get some inspiration, we will be
doing little snippets of a range of possibilities
for your piece of original writing.
• You can then decide which piece of writing
you want to develop into a full piece.
• The good news is you’ve probably already
done some types of writing before in your
previous English lessons – persuading,
informing, explaining, describing? Can
you recall any?
To do a dangerous thing with style
is what I call art
Taking risks and adding ‘danger’
• No matter which task you are
approaching, there are some
risks you have to take…
• Powerful adjectives allow your
writing to grab your reader. Don’t
tell me what I already know,
grass is green, the sky is blue and
the sun is bright, take a risk, tell
me what I don’t know.
• Imagery can also be created
by using similes and
metaphors. As pure as snow
or you are the sun in my sky.
• Setting is the key to creating
a mood – use the weather –
like a raincloud following
Eeyore around from Winnie
the Pooh – you can use a
storm to reflect trouble
approaching or sunshine for
a happy ending. This is called
‘pathetic fallacy’ and is very
• Setting can also be the
ramshackle house creaked
in the wind or the time of
day, year or season.
describing real people or
imaginary, you need to
paint them in an
interesting way so the
reader becomes their
friend (or enemy!). His
heart was black and
withered with evil deeds.
Identify the ‘dull’ – remember last lesson?
There are many ways of using language to create an effective description.
Take a simple sentence:
The trees moved in the breeze.
You can add style by:
Identifying the nouns and verbs in the sentence
Select TWO adjectives to go in front of each noun
Select ONE adverb to go in front of the verb
This time with ‘style’
adding adjectives: The tall, willowy trees gently
moved in the soft whispering breeze
Changing the verb and adding an adverb: The
trees swayed rhythmically in the breeze
By using a simile to help describe: The trees
moved in the breeze like sails over the water.
Practise your own using: The cat sat on the mat
• Lets begin
• List all the
• Think of
• Now pick
one out of
• Now rustle
• Now describe how the wrapper feels between
• Open it and…
• Sniff it! Describe the smell and its effect on
• Munch it! Describe the explosion of flavour in
• Now use a thesaurus to see if you can improve on
any of your adjectives.
• Once you have done this, try to use it all to create an
opening paragraph of a piece of description.
• Is it a quiet night in and you have the box all to
• Have you sneaked around and found your mum’s
• Have you stolen the chocolates from someone?
As the pale moonlight crept through a chink in the
curtains I stole across the midnight living room to
find a pocket of heaven. Like a cunning thief I
gently reached behind my mum’s chair, sweaty fingers
eager for their treasure. I gingerly lifted the lid like a
woman opens a jewellery box given to her at
Christmas. The waft of loveliness hit my nostrils and
the dribbling began; I had to have one.
• What sentence and structural techniques
were included in the last example? How is
tension built? What made it good and could it
• Sentence construction: how are the sentences
begun? How else could you start a sentence?
Practice different ways that do not begin with
‘the’ ‘I’ or ‘A’.
‘Dull’ Sentences? Try this!
• a preposition : Prepositions indicate time, position or direction.
• in under before outside up along beyond below at
opposite nearby by with during while
e.g. In the aircraft …
• a verb ending in –ing : Verbs are words that express an action, a
happening, a process or a state. Verbs ending in –ing indicate continuous
hoping running strolling galloping sneering laughing
smiling fearing peering fearing
e.g. Feeling angry, Matt ran forward …
• a verb ending in –ed : Verbs are words that express an action, a
happening, a process or a state. Verbs ending in –ed indicate the past
exhausted scared tired invigorated placed heated opened
packed irritated draped cluttered
e.g. Frightened, I ran through the trees
Boring Sentences? Try this!
• an adverb, (-ly words) : Adverbs provide more information about
the verb (i.e. how the action is done).
silently noisily helpfully interestingly hopefully expectantly
frighteningly unhappily slowly
e.g. Instantly the dogs jumped …
• a connective : Connectives are words or phrases that link clauses or
meanwhile although despite consequently likewise
similarly however finally furthermore
e.g. Meanwhile, he backed away from her, worried about her intentions…
• A subordinate clause : a secondary part of the sentence that does not
make sense on its own (usually we put at end of sentence because we think
that way) What do you notice about subordinate clauses?
e.g. Because he was tired, the cat lay on the mat
e.g Looking for signs of life, the man walked on the moon.
Technique Definition Examples
Preposition Prepositions indicate time, position or
in under before outside up
along beyond below at
opposite nearby by with
Verb ending in
Verbs are words that express an
action, a happening, a process or a
state. Verbs ending in –ing indicate
hoping running strolling
galloping sneering laughing
smiling fearing peering
Verb ending in -ed Verbs are words that express an
action, a happening, a process or a
state. Verbs ending in –ed indicate
the past tense.
exhausted scared tired
invigorated placed heated
opened packed irritated
Adverbs provide more information
about the verb (i.e. how the action
silently noisily helpfully
Connective Connectives are words or phrases that
link clauses or sentences.
meanwhile although despite
similarly however finally
a secondary part of the sentence that
does not make sense on its own
(usually we put at end of sentence
because we think that way)
Because he was tired, the cat lay on
Looking for signs of life, the man
walked on the moon
Plenary – reflection on your writing
For each of the criteria below, give an example from
your partner’s writing:
•(AO3i ) Has you partner communicated clearly and
imaginatively? Did they use powerful descriptive adjectives
and/or adverbs? Did they use any similes or metaphors? Did
they appeal to the senses?
•(AO3ii ) Did they organise ideas into sentences? Paragraphs?
Did they use any linking connectives between paragraphs to
signal the development of their ideas?
•(AO3iii ) Did they use a mix of simple, compound and complex
sentences? Did they use punctuation accurately? Did they spell
new vocabulary accurately?
Summer holiday homework
• Over the holiday produce a final, neat version
of your descriptive writing about the piece of
• It can be presented in any format you like –
typed, handwritten or artistically.
• Look at your partner’s marking to see where
you need to improve your draft work.
• Bring it to your first English lesson next term.
• There will be prizes available for the most
imaginative and creative responses.