Descriptosaurus Books

There are now 12 books in the Descriptosaurus series find out how they support teachers at KS1 and KS2.

Descriptosaurus books help children expand their descriptive vocabulary, experiment with language and sentence structure and build up narratives based around settings, characters and creatures, so they can improve their creative writing.

Written for teachers to support all children in the classroom, including reluctant writers and those faced with blank page syndrome, they can also be used at home by parents. Published by Routledge, the books can be bought on and there's also a video and free guides below from the authors to help you learn more.

Which Descriptosaurus book do I need?

There are now eleven books in the Descriptosaurus series, and if you haven't used them before it might not be obvious how they are different and which books are right for you, your school or your children.

If you are new to Descriptosaurus, there are two books that are an ideal entry point.

Descriptosaurus: Supporting Creative Writing for Ages 8–14, by Alison Wilcox

The original, much-loved  Descriptosaurus, (over five-hundred 5 star ratings on amazon) is now in its 4th edition and provides support to school teachers at KS2 and KS3.

It is a thematic expansion of a dictionary and a thesaurus, providing children with a comprehensive resource with which to expand their descriptive vocabulary, experiment with language and sentence structure and build up narratives based around a broad range of settings, characters and creatures.

This Descriptosaurus case study by Sarah, a year five primary school teacher in Morpeth Northumberland, explains how she used the book to improve her childrens creative writing and capture their imagination.

Descriptosaurus Story Writing: Language in Action for Ages 5–9

In December 2020 a similar book for teachers working with younger children aged 5-9 was published by Alison Wilcox and Adam Bushnell Descriptosaurus Story Writing.

It helps younger pupils become enthusiastic and confident writers - willing and able to participate fully in the writing process as they move onto the next stage.

This free guide is the perfect introduction to Descriptosaurus Story Writing. It takes you inside the book to show how the explicit teaching of vocabulary can be done within the context of a writing task.

Free Descriptosaurus Guide to Story Writing

Both books are a comprehensive resource and provide the essential building blocks to create a narrative text, alongside contextualized banks of vocabulary, phrases and model sentences. Hardback and A4 they have both been praised as an excellent classroom book.

Descriptosaurus Personal Writing

The latest edition to the family - Descriptosaurus Personal Writing, provides young writers with an opportunity to link their personal lives and school experiences, and gives writing a meaningful and personal context.

It is a resource that will guide and scaffold students to produce vivid, powerful, descriptive and meaningful personal texts, and, acting as a springboard for other genres, will dramatically improve the quality of their writing in all areas.

It has been written for KS2 primary and KS3 secondary English teachers, literacy coordinators and parents to support children aged 7 to 14. 

This free guide shows teachers how to help their pupils get started with personal writing. It explains the benefits of a writing journal and includes poems, questions and prompts that will help children put pen to paper and start writing about themselves.

Descriptosaurus Genre Books

Building on the vocabulary and descriptive phrases introduced in the original bestselling Descriptosaurus these are all for children aged 8 -14.

Descriptosaurus Punctuation Books

More recently published are four books that provide punctuation instruction - using the principles of Descriptosaurus and creative writing.

Punctuation is a difficult subject to engage children (or adults!) with, so the idea here is to use the character and the fun of the story to draw kids in and then show how changing punctuation or incorrect punctuation can alter the story and what actually happens to the characters. Each book is written for different ages and so the series provides complete coverage of KS1 and KS2.