Descriptive Paragraphs The Four Square Method DESCRIPTIVE PARAGRAPHS • What is a descriptive paragraph? What does it mean to describe something? • Descriptions use the senses to “describe” a topic. • The purpose of a descriptive paragraph is to make the reader feel, see, taste, smell, or hear what you are talking about. • No matter what you are writing about, the goal of a descriptive paragraph is to use details that give a vivid picture of your topic. • Descriptive paragraphs use adjectives or describing words to paint a picture of a topic. • A good paragraph will have 3-5 sentences. • Your first sentence will be your topic sentence. • The sentences that follow will be your descriptive sentences. An Example • The zoo is my favorite place to take my children. The tigers, with their orange and black stripes and menacing grin, are amazing. The wrinkled, leather skin of the elephants crinkles as they raise their trunks. But, the best part of the zoo is watching the mother giraffe, with her stretched neck, wander the yard with her little baby. The zoo is a feast for the eyes! Step One • The first step in writing a descriptive paragraph is to consider your topic. • Write down as many sensory words as possible to describe your topic. • Remember to consider sights, smells, tastes, sounds, etc. • Then, write a topic sentence! • The topic sentence is your main point. Step 2: The Four Squares • Fold a piece of paper in half and then in half again to make 4 squares. • On the first square, write your topic sentence. This sentence is your main point or how you feel about the topic. • On the other 3 squares, write three descriptive words. The Four Squares Giraffe Lion Zoo Elephant I like going to the zoo to see the animals. Step Three: Write Your Sentences • Now, write a sentence for each of the three words in your four squares. Giraffes have beautiful, spotted skin and long necks. Lions are proud, huge, animals with furry manes. Zoo Elephants are grey and wrinkled with their long trunks. I like going to the zoo to see the animals because of their amazing features. Step Four: Write Your Paragraph! • Now, put your four sentences together into a paragraph! Then repeat your topic sentence but change it a little. – I like going to the zoo to see the animals because of their amazing features. Lions are proud, huge, animals with furry manes. Giraffes have beautiful, spotted skin and long necks. And, elephants are grey and wrinkled with their long trunks. Example • Winter is my favorite season! I love the cold weather that turns my cheeks red. When I breathe, I can see my white, hot breath in the air. Making a large, white snowman with an orange carrot nose is so much fun! Winter is my favorite time of year. Let’s Review o A good descriptive paragraph will be no less than 4 complete sentences. o Descriptive paragraphs use sensory language, adjectives, and describing words to help paint a picture in the mind of the reader. o First brainstorm, then create your topic sentence. o Use the 4 square method to create your three supporting sentences. o Make sure that you write a concluding sentence that is like your topic sentence, but different.