1st Edition

Descriptosaurus Story Writing Language in Action for Ages 5–9

By Alison Wilcox, Adam Bushnell Copyright 2021
    226 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Descriptosaurus Story Writing provides a resource for younger pupils that will not only expand their descriptive vocabulary but also provide them with models that demonstrate ‘language in action,’ in a genre that is popular and familiar to children aged 5–9. Providing the essential building blocks to create a narrative text, alongside contexualised banks of vocabulary, phrases and sentence types, this book is designed to provide young pupils with the opportunity to see how a text is constructed using words, phrases and sentences. This exciting new resource:

    • Provides vocabulary for setting, character, ‘show not tell’ and sensory descriptions with clearly defined progression
    • Demonstrates how to use this vocabulary in different contexts using set sentence structures
    • Offers four model narratives written in different styles and level of difficulty
    • Presents modelled sentences with exercises so that pupils can expand their vocabulary
    • Enables young pupils to develop their understanding of how sentences are constructed and become more confident about using these skills in their own story writing

    This is an ideal resource to dramatically improve children’s knowledge and understanding of language, grammar and punctuation for all KS1 and KS2 primary English teachers, literacy coordinators and parents. This easily accessible guide will also be helpful for teachers to use in preparation for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) alongside a creative writing task.


    How to use this book

    Part 1: Settings: Landscapes

    1 Forests and woods

    2 Hills and mountains

    3 Seas and oceans

    4 Islands and beaches

    5 Caves

    6 Modern street

    7 Sounds

    8 Smells

    9 Touch

    10 Sun

    11 Wind

    12 Rain

    13 Thunder and lightning

    Part 2: Characters

    14 Characters’ appearance

    15 Characters (heroes) – personality

    16 Characters (heroes) – animals

    17 Characters (villains) – personality

    18 Characters (villains) – animals

    19 Defeating a villain

    20 Dialogue

    Part 3: Resources for ‘Language in action’

    21 ‘The Ninjabread Girl’

    22 Modelled sentences

    23 Innovating sentences model

    24 Coordination and subordination

    25 ‘Captain Moody and his pirate crew’

    26 Modelled sentences

    27 Innovating sentences model

    28 Coordination and subordination

    29 ‘Ruby Red’

    30 Modelled sentences

    31 Innovating sentences model

    32 Coordination and subordination

    33 ‘Jack and the Crystal Fang’

    34 Modelled sentences

    35 Innovating sentences model

    36 Coordination and subordination

    Part 4: ‘Language in action’ templates

    Plot outline

    Scene outline

    Collecting descriptive words and phrases

    Sentence parts and structure

    Stretching a sentence

    Experimenting with vocabulary and sentences


    Alison Wilcox is a Law and Economics graduate from Cardiff University, who worked as a primary-school teacher for many years. Whilst teaching, she developed Descriptosaurus to scaffold and improve children’s creative writing, with dramatic results, and she made the decision to give up full-time teaching to work on the Descriptosaurus series. To keep up to date with current practices in schools, Alison undertakes brief teaching assignments, works with schools to develop new resources and conducts workshops for schools and teaching alliances.

    Adam Bushnell was a primary-school teacher and is now a published author of both fiction and academia. He has had fifteen books published for children and six books published for teachers on the teaching of writing. He works as a ‘visiting author’ in the UK and internationally, delivering writing workshops for primary school aged children. He also offers CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for schools and delivers keynote speeches at conferences about reading and writing in education.