Review: Descriptive Writing Picture Prompts on Teachers Pay Teachers

The Descriptive Writing Picture Prompts packet available on Teachers Pay Teachers is a free download for teachers whose students are practicing their descriptive writing skills. Descriptive writing is an important aspect of creative writing, and fiction and creative nonfiction both benefit from strong descriptive writing.

The packet contains three images that are captioned with writing prompts to get students started in their descriptive writing, as well as introductory material differentiating good descriptive writing from ineffective writing. Each photo has its own page, and below each photo is a set of prompts. The prompts encourage students to observe the photo and then engage various senses (through the imagination) to describe what is happening in the scene.

When I was learning descriptive writing in my fifth grade creative writing unit, we practiced writing about various objects in our lunch boxes or at the library; I unwrapped a piece of candy and paid close attention to every aspect of it, ready to capture the entire experience in words. This assignment, however, draws on the power of an image and therefore offers the potential for a huge range of objects and perspectives for descriptive writing. Having the tactile nature of a physical object in my grasp gave a good foundation for my descriptive writing, but an assignment like this, requiring more abstract analysis, would make a great follow-up to those early tactile lessons.

You can download your own copy of the Descriptive Writing Picture Prompts packet here.

You may also enjoy the following TeachersPayTeachers products:

- The Writing Prompts Workbook: Grades 3-4

- The Writing Prompts Workbook: Grades 11-12

- Fourth Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays

- First Grade Writing Prompts for Seasons

- 50 Prompts for Homeschooling (free)

If you’re interested in opening your own TeachersPayTeachers shop, click here to find out more.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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