Lesson Plan

Writing: Show, Don’t Tell

Help students learn about descriptive writing with this engaging lesson. Your class will learn to show character emotions though the “show, don’t tell” writing technique with videos, practice writing, and class participation.
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

Students will understand the importance of showing, not telling in their writing. Students will be able to show details, instead of telling them, in their writing.


(5 minutes)
  1. Introduce the lesson to your students. Start by activating prior knowledge that the students may have of the “show, don’t tell” strategy. For example, ask how many students make pictures in their heads while they read.
  2. Then, ask students what words help them paint a picture in their mind. Once a student answers correctly, or a few students made guesses, explain that the writer helps paint this picture with descriptive words, that show readers what is happening, instead of telling them.
  3. Explaining that the phrase “show, don’t tell” refers to a writing strategy that is used to give descriptions of character’s emotions.