Descriptive compositions Loreta Vainauskiene, teacher methodologist, Kruonis Gymnasium
DESCRIPTION OF • People, • Places, • Objects, • Events, • Festivals, • Ceremonies, etc.
A DESCRIPTIVE COMPOSITION SHOULD INCLUDE • An interesting introduction; • A main body that develops a theme; • A good ending.
ORGANISE YOUR IDEAS INTO PARAGRAPHS • Start a paragraph with a topic sentence; • Write well-developed paragraphs, i.e. a number of sentences linked together with a variety of linkingwords.
DESCRIBING A PERSON 1 • Name a person, your relations with him/her; • Physical appearance (height, built, age, facial features, hair, clothes)*; *from most general facts to specific ones: e.g. She is a short, slim woman. Her black long hair is tied backing ponytail.
DESCRIBING A PERSON 2 • Personality characteristics & justification (support with examples, give a balanced combination of good & bad* features) ; *use a mild language to describe negative qualities: e.g. He is lazy. He can be lazy at times.
DESCRIBING A PERSON 3 • Activities, hobbies, interests; • Comments & feelings about the person. NOTE: describing a person who is no longer alive, past tenses must be used.
AUNT EMILY Of all my relatives, l like my Aunt Emily the best. She’s my mother’s youngest sister. She has never married and lives alone in a small village near Bath.
She’s in her late fifties, but she’s quite young in spirit. She has a fair complexion, thick brown hair which she wears in a bun, and dark brown eyes. She has a kind face, and when you meet her, the first thing you notice is her smile. Her face is a little wrinkled now, but I think she is still rather attractive. She is the sort of person you can always go to if you have a problem.
She likes reading and gardening, and she still goes for long walks over the hills. She’s a very active person. Either she’s making something, or mending something, or doing something to entertain herself. Finally, I have to say that my Aunt Emily is extremely generous, but not very tolerant with people who don’t agree with her! I hope I’m as contented as she is when I’m her age.
INTRODUCTION Give general information about the place or building: What is it? Who built it? When? Where is it? Why is it interesting? Why are you writing about it?
MAIN PART (BODY) Describe the place/building: • What does it look like? • What are the important features of it? • What makes it special? • What can you see there? • What is the atmosphere of it?
CONCLUSION Conclude by summarizing the points and include a general comment or say how you feel: • What is your general opinion of the place/building? • How do you feel about the place/building?
THE EIFFEL TOWER(E. Moutsou – S.Parker. New Plus, Intermediate, MM Publications, 2005) One of the world’s most famous landmarks is the Eiffel Tower, which was designed and built by Alexandre G. Eiffel in 1889. It is located in the centre of Paris and has become a major tourist attraction, with thousands of tourists visiting it every day.
What makes the Eiffel Tower so special is its design and height. Being 300 metres high, its impressive Tower is one of the tallest landmarks in Paris and can be seen from a great distance. Of course, most people prefer to visit and admire it up close.
There are three levels on the Eiffel Tower. By taking a lift or climbing hundreds of stairs, you can visit the restaurant on the first level and have a delicious French meal. The other two levels each have an observation deck, where you can enjoy spectacular views of Paris.
However, the Eiffel Tower is not only a tourist attraction. The department of meteorology has a weather station and an antenna on the top. This makes it even taller. Without a doubt, the Eiffel Tower is an impressive and unforgettable sight. It is truly worth visiting. (186 words)
VOCABULARY Include a variety of adjectives:
DESCRIBING AN OBJECT* • Time and place the object was lost; • Size, shape, origin, material, texture, uses/functions, special features; • Time and place you can be contacted. NOTE: adjective order: opinion, size/weight, age, shape, colour, origin, material (it is usual to use up to 3 adjectives) * It is usually done in letters.
MODEL LETTER Dear Sir, I am writing this letter regarding an item which was lost during the recent stay at your hotel. On 7 May I checked into the Hotel Paradise for a two-night stay. Upon returning home, I realised that my watch was missing.
It is a small Swiss watch with a round white face and elegant black Roman numerals. It is made by Van Cleef and Arpels of Switzerland. The band is made of shiny yellow gold metal with about eighty small white diamonds surrounding its smooth crystal face. It has been valued at $ 5,000. The underside of the band is engraved “With love John, 12.8.92”, which I hope will help you to identify it.
I would be very grateful if you could contact me as soon as possible in the event of my watch being found. Yours faithfully, Celia Smith Celia Smith
DESCRIBING FESTIVALS, EVENTS, CEREMONIES* • Name, time, place of the event, reason(s) for celebrating (what, when, where, why); • Preparations; • Actual event (what was goingon); • Feelings, comments, final thoughts.
DESCRIBING A FESTIVAL We celebrate Christmas on December 25. Christmas honours the birth of Jesus Christ and is celebrated by Christians all over the world. In England, preparations for Christmas begin in November, when shop windows are decorated with Christmas ornaments such as colourful streams, silver tinsels and golden bells. Christmas lists are written to Santa Claus by children. Finishing touches are put on Christmas cakes and puddings. A Christmas tree is decorated with ornaments, bulbs and a star at the top. Glittering lights are hung in the streets and on the trees, and wreaths are placed on city buildings and doorways.
On Christmas morning, the tearing of wrapping paper is heard as gifts are exchanged, opened and admired. If it is a “white” Christmas, fresh snow covers the town and snowmen are made. As the turkey is sizzling in the oven, its delicious aroma fills the house. Later, the turkey, sausages, bacon, stuffing and potatoes are served for dinner. The family, dressed in their best clothes, sits down to enjoy a delicious meal, which puts a smile on everyone’s face. In the evening families relax and enjoy the gifts they have received. The warm feeling of Christmas spirit fills the home as the children play happily with their new toys and the adults relax. This is the time when family members feel closest to each other, after sharing a day of love and joy.