Descriptosaurus - The Perfect Christmas Present For A Teacher

About 3 years ago, my fantastic Deputy gave every teacher this book - Descriptosaurus. Written by Alison Wilcox, Descriptosaurus is fantastic for creative writing that is a thematic expansion of a dictionary and a thesaurus. It provides children with a comprehensive resource with which to expand their descriptive vocabulary, experiment with language and sentence structure and build up narratives based around the following areas: Settings - landscapes, settlements and atmosphere, Characters - appearance, emotions and personality, and Creatures - appearance, abilities and habitats.

When it comes to writing, teachers can find it tricky to generate effective descriptive language during shared or guided writing sessions. I have been lucky enough to attend training by Alan Peat and Pie Corbett. Both sessions were fantastic and made it look so easy to generate effective vocabulary to tell a good story. They are geniuses and experts in the field. When faced with a class of 30, being put on the spot, you can have a complete mental block. However, with the descriptosaurus to hand, you will always be able to find a word, phrase or whole sentence to use.

In 2013, the National Literacy Trust ran a descriptive writing competition linked with Descriptosaurus. Some resources are still available - click here. On the back of the competition, Alison has now created new versions of the Descriptosaurus based on different text types. The four are - Action and Adventure, Ghost Stories, Fantasy and Myths and Legends. At present, only Action and Adventure and Ghost Stories are available, with the others being released soon.

From the competition, this book helps areas of children's writing that needed development, such as action scenes. There is a bigger focus on the character's reactions and interactions. This is something I feel is often missing from children's writing.

The books are also available electronically through the Kindle store.

Here is a sample from the Amazon preview of the Descriptosaurus:

So if you are stuck for a present to buy a teacher or even treat your child to help with their writing, I would highly recommend these books!


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