Stories and Descriptions

Last week we dealt with Writing Tips and Practical Suggestions.

And what are we going to deal with today?

Writing Stories and Descriptions

A. Let's start with Stories.


Some students feel frustrated when asked to write a story. They think that only writers can do that. They are afraid that their imagination may not be rich enough to create a story.

How can we help them?


1. We can stimulate writing and help students overcome the writing barrier by developing an oral activity related to a recent experience.

We may start as follows:

The teacher says:

I would like to tell you about a special experience / meeting that has greatly influenced my personal life / career / attitude to education / politics and so on.

The next step may be asking students to come forward and tell the class about a special experience they have had and the impact it has had on their lives. 

This oral activity will lead to a writing activity at home or in class about an unforgettable experience they have had.

2. We may wish to encourage students to use and enrich their imagination and creativity.

Let's ask them to write a story about an alien's visit to their home.

If the class is rather weak or at a relatively early stage of the writing process, we may offer the following guidelines.

We may start this way:

I was lying in bed, reading …           when…

Suddenly / all of a sudden, there was …

I was too terrified to move, and then …

I saw smoke and fire in my backyard and …

At first,…,           but then / after a while …

Finally, …

That was an experience I will never …

3. Pictures and cartoons may become a great source of inspiration.

Show a picture / a cartoon / a short video and ask students to write the story behind the picture / cartoon / video.



A simple activity might be asking students to describe the cartoons and the story behind them. Advanced students may be asked to write other stories related to violence and aggression and what they have learned from those experiences.

4. The teacher can present a subject or a statement and ask students to write s story related to that subject or a story that illustrates a certain statement.


a. Write a story, real or imaginary, about somebody that won a fortune in the Sportototo / Lotto / Payis.

b. From time to time we read about people that won a fortune that led to unhappiness in the long run. Write a story that illustrates this statement.


B. Decriptions


 1. Ask students to describe a picture and the message it conveys. Click on the following link.

food cartoon

Describe the picture and discuss the differences between food habits and diets in the Western world and in the Far East.

2. Describe your favorite teacher. Write about his / her qualities and his / her influence on you.

You may wish to follow the following guidelines:

I will never forget my ….

I first met him / her …

What impressed me most …

I wish there were many …

3. Describe a friend with a unique sense of humor.

4. Describe your ideal school.

Possible suggestions:

shorter lessons

longer breaks

longer vacations

swimming pool


         And that's all for today. More about stories in my next post.

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