Improve Students’ Writing With This Free “Show, Don’t Tell” Game

“I’m loving the descriptive writing I’m seeing in my students’ work!”

Sponsored By NoRedInk
Image of the first slide of the "Show, Don't Tell!" writing game

Teaching students how to progress from writing simple statements to crafting engaging narratives that incorporate descriptive language is a key step in helping them develop as creative thinkers and communicators. While many of us have used some sort of basic “show, don’t tell” lesson to introduce and reinforce the value of descriptive language, We Are Teachers has worked with our friends at NoRedInk to develop an exciting new way to teach students how to write more engaging, more sophisticated stories. We know you and your students are going to love it!

Animated gif of slides from the "Show, Don't Tell!" game

How does the game work?

Each teacher gets their own copy of the Google Slides-based game on their Google Drive. In the game, NoRedInk’s adorable characters walk students through the pillars of descriptive writing—including using action words and words that appeal to the five senses—and explain how these techniques make writing more interesting and unique. Then, students get to practice these skills themselves, moving words around the screen to create sentences that show instead of tell.

How can I use the game in my classroom?

Whole-group learning

  • Project the game on a screen and have your class work together to decide which words best complete each sentence.
  • Invite students up to your computer to drag and drop the words into the correct spots.

Independent or at-home work

  • Give each student a copy of the game for their own device and have them practice independently. Then, review each student’s screen individually or check the answers as a class.
  • Set up the interactive game as a station for small-group work.
  • Share the interactive game with families as a resource for extra at-home practice.

My students loved the game! Now what?

There’s no reason the learning and fun should stop after your students have mastered the use of descriptive language. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to follow NoRedInk’s animated characters over to their site to check out their free online writing curriculum that’s designed specifically for upper elementary learners. There you’ll find:

  • Standards-aligned activities for Grades 3–5.
  • Skills broken down into easily digestible pieces perfect for the age group.
  • Engaging Quick Write prompts that include eye-catching pictures.
  • Colorful, video-based instructional tutorials.
  • Targeted scaffolding and step-by-step remediation.

Create a free NoRedInk account today to help your students unlock the power of the written word!