Descriptosaurus: Supporting Creative Writing for Ages 8–14, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover


Supporting Creative Writing for Ages 8–14, 2nd Edition

By Alison Wilcox

© 2013 – Routledge

252 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780415640862
pub: 2013-03-05
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315815060
pub: 2014-02-13
from $60.95

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Reviews of the first edition

"This book is a treasure trove of descriptive language… Highly recommended for both teachers and parents. I wish I’d had a copy of this book when I was a full time English teacher! Invest in a copy today; you’ll be glad you did."

Sue Cowley, bestselling author, teacher and teacher trainer

"Help to banish 'blank page syndrome' for ever, with this innovative book… Created by teacher, Alison Wilcox, this inspirational book will build children's confidence in their writing ability."

Literacy Times Plus

"A real ‘godsend’ to hard-pressed teachers, parents and pupils."

Denis Hayes, author of Foundations of Primary Teaching


Reviews of the second edition

‘…the addition of the CD is perfect for the modern day classroom… fantastic!’

 Emma Palastanga, primary deputy head

‘The… book/CD, will be so helpful to teachers who are struggling to think of different ways to say things and will enhance their planning and teaching. As a classroom resource it will be invaluable.’

Elaine Smitheman, primary school teacher


Now available with a CD-ROM for classroom use, Descriptosaurus is the first book 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.

New features for the second edition include:

  • IWB compatible CD-ROM containing all the main elements of the book
  • New VCOP coverage
  • Expanded coverage of adverbs and connectives
  • New planning sheets to help children organise and structure descriptions
  • Character cards, games and mountain pyramid vocabulary builders

The Descriptosaurus model was created and refined over a number of years as a result of feedback from children inside and outside the classroom as to the resources they required to inspire and assist them with their writing. For reluctant writers or those faced with blank page syndrome, it provides essential starting points to encourage putting pen to paper. Using Descriptosaurus will not only inspire children, it will build their confidence and dramatically improve the content of their writing.

This is an ideal resource for all KS2 primary and KS3 secondary English teachers, literacy coordinators and parents keen to support their childrens’ creative writing. It would also make an excellent classroom book for PGCE students, particularly Primary PGCE with English specialism.


"There is just so much in this phenomenal book that I can't do it justice here - you need to take a look for yourself - creative writing lessons will be transformed and pupil confidence and ability extended." - Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch

Table of Contents

1 Forests and woods; 2 Mountains; 3 Caves; 4 Beaches, islands, volcanoes and deserts; 5 Ground and paths; 6 Streams, rivers, lakes and waterfalls; 7 Sea and waves; 8 Cities, towns and villages; 9 Roads; 10 Gardens; 11 Buildings; 12 Doors, halls, corridors and stairs; 13 Rooms; 14 Time of day; 15 Seasons; 16 Rain, mist and fog; 17 Wind, thunder and lightning; 18 Smell and touch; 19 Sound; 20 Age, height and shape; 21 Face; 22 Eyes; 23 Mouth, teeth, nose and ears; 24 Hands and fingers; 25 Hair and facial hair; 26 Clothes; 27 Voice; 28 Excited, happy; 29 Concentrating, determined; 30 Sympathetic, caring; 31 Relieved; 32 Angry, aggressive, irritated, impatient; 33 Cold, evil, sly, arrogant; 34 Scared, frightened, timid; 35 Nervous, shy, embarrassed; n36 Sad, miserable; 37 Tired; 38 Pain; 39 Parts, size, shape, colour and covering; 40 Head; 41 Eyes; 42 Arms and legs; 43 Wings and tails; 44 Smell and sound; 45 Movement; 46 Habitat; 47 Abilities and actions; 48 Weapons and Destruction; 49 Adverbs; 50 Connectives; 51 Planning sheets



About the Author

Alison Wilcox has extensive teaching experience in schools in England and Scotland. Colleagues describe her methods as ‘innovative and inspirational to even the most reluctant of writers'.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Arts & Humanities


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