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By Teresa Saunderseducation journalist and children’s writer

Encourage children to improve their powers of description with these exciting, self-contained games and activities

5 minute literacy: Ages 7-9

1. Noah’s Ark

Learning objective: to reinforce children’s confidence with adjectives.

Noah’s Ark is a favourite story with children, so use it to build their confidence with adjectives. For this whole-class game the children should sit in a circle. Ask them in turn: What animals went into the ark two by two? The children should each reply with the name of their chosen animal, plus a descriptive word that they think best describes that animal – for example: ‘two naughty monkeys, two slithery snakes, two fierce tigers’.

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2. What a character!

Learning objective: to create characters using descriptive details.

Introduce drama to your work on descriptions with this role-play game on story characters. Working in small groups, each group should choose one word that describes a well-known human characteristic, for instance: greedy, cruel, heroic, fierce, humorous, cowardly, kind, spiteful. Using words and actions, they should then role play that characteristic to the rest of the class, who must guess the word. For example:

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