Descriptive Writing: Assessment Tasks


Here are the assessment tasks for your Descriptive Writing. Choose ONE of the following:

1. It is the first day of a new term at school or college. Describe the scene at the beginning of the day.

2. Describe the scene in a primary school classroom during an art lesson.

3. Describe the scene as a large crowd leaves a sporting or musical event.

4. Describe a field in the aftermath of a music festival.

5. Describe a campsite, following a visit from a group of young people on the Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

Homework: Prepare your side of A4 notes. You may wish to include your PLANS (see the tables from this lesson and last Friday) and key WORDS and PHRASES. It might also be a good idea to write yourself a ‘checklist’ of techniques to include: varied sentence length, poetic devices, etc.

Here is my descripion of my person in a prison cell. (Or, photograph of a person in a prison cell.)

The air is always musty at this time of day, for the residue of the morning’s cleaning has left it thick with bleach, so thick that you can almost taste it, so thick that, on particularly pungent days, it makes your eyes water. On the floor, the vinyl remians damp, in places drying to leave a powdery white residue in its wake. Soon, when the bell is sounded, footprints will impress themselves on this chemical carpet. For the moment, it remains unblemished.

The tap continues to drip, and the shadow of a limb falls heavily, despondently, at internals, as if in secret coalition with the droplets that sit ready, alert, awaiting their moment of release from the rusty pipes of a Victorian plumbing system that should have been replaced years ago. If you listen very hard, it is possible to hear the life of the prison below: the hum of the sewing machines in the workshop, the hubbub of the kitchen and the whir of the laundry. Another droplet falls in the sink; this time the shadow falls a fraction of a second too late. There is a grunt, for he has lost the game, again, and rolls onto his side to face the wall, where Amy is laughing at him, in her red sunhat with white spots, squinting in the sun, with an ice cream in her hand and a hole in her heart.

The photograph is of their holiday in France, over two years ago, now, and in the background you can just make out the swimming pool, with its plastic parasols and painted palms. But it is Amy that he sees, laughing at the ice cream that is melting, making its way down her fingers in sticky pink streams. He shuffles a little closer to study her eyes, just visible through the laugh, lost inside it, almost. They do not look at the camera, but into it, as if in attempt to discover the secrets of its inner mechanisms, hidden in metallic darkness. It is the gaze of the curious child, entranced by life, delighted and thrilled by it all –  and unafraid of it too, for life has not yet taught her to be scared.


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