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Thanksgiving Writing: Mouth-Watering Descriptions

Thanksgiving is a great holiday to develop your students’ descriptive writing skills. When I introduced my most recent writing activity to my fifth graders, they were pretty enthusiastic about it. Why? Well,Slide1it involved food. Yes, it turns out that most intermediate-level students love to write about food. Who knew?!

The challenge was simple: Write a descriptive paragraph about Thanksgiving dinner that causes the teacher’s mouth to water. I told them that good writers can actually cause the reader to undergo a physical change when reading their words. If you really think about it, that is so true. Great writers of scary stories know how to increase our pulse and sometimes even break into goosebumps. Physical change. Authors of beautiful love stories will cause us to cry tears of sadness or joy with their choice of words. Physical change. As I explained this to my students, I could see their eagerness to make the teacher’s mouth water through their own writing.

I handed out the writing organizer and encouraged them to be generous with their adjectives and use Slide2of figurative language. Then they began to write. After all students were finished with their first draft, they traded papers, did some editing and revising, and conferenced with me individually.

Well, they certainly rose to the challenge. My mouth was seriously watering throughout the entire process, and my stomach actually began to grumble halfway through the conferences, which, of course, my fifth graders thought was hilarious. Mission accomplished. Physical change!


They then wrote their final copy and added an illustration. I created a bulletin board to showcase my authors’ work, just in time for parent conferences. The parents truly enjoyed reading the descriptions and I smile (and get a little hungry) every time I walk past the display! SO proud of my class!



Go ahead! Give your students the mouth-watering writing challenge! I’m sure they will enjoy the writing as much as you will love the results! If you are interested in the writing organizer and writing paper I used for the activity, it is part of my November ELA Unit, which is FULL of  November-related informational passages, worksheets, activities, centers, poetry, and writing!

Click HERE to see the entire November ELA Packet.

Looking for More Seasonal Learning?

If you love connecting your classroom learning to the seasons or holidays then you must check out these other posts. Here are many seasonal activities that will engage your students while still keeping them focused on the important skills and standards they need.


Shelly Rees

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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