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Descriptive Paragraph of Self Lesson

By Kellie Hayden

Teach middle school students how to write a proper paragraph by describing themselves. They know the topic well, and they can learn the parts of a paragraph: topic sentence, body and conclusion. This activity is a great way for students to get to know each other better.

Brainstorm Ideas for Self Paragraph

The paragraph is the building block of the all important essay. Teach students this important writing structure by describing themselves. In the process, students will learn about themselves and each other.

Preparation for the Lesson

Students will describe themselves in this lesson. To begin, take a picture of every student with a digital camera. This can be done quickly one day and then printed for the next class.


Give each student his or her photo. On a piece of paper, tape or staple the photo. Next, they need to make three columns on the paper. Label the columns: appearance, personality and hobbies/interests.

The students need to study the photo and make a list of words that describe their appearance. Next, they need to make a list of their descriptors of their personality. Last they need to make a list of their interest or hobbies.

Writing a Draft of the Paragraph

Step 1: Students need to write a topic sentence. A topic sentence is one sentence that states the topic and controlling idea. The topic sentence needs to include the students name and a statement about him or her. If the students are young, ask students to keep the topic sentence simple.

For example: Bonnie Smith is a sixth grader at Brown Middle School.

Step 2: Next, students need to write the body of the paragraph. They should include one to two sentences from each column from the brainstorming list: appearance, personality and interests/hobbies. Make sure that the paragraph flow well together.

Step 3: Last students need to write a conclusion. The conclusion should wrap up the paragraph. Many younger writers will begin, "in conclusion." More sophisticated writers should move beyond this phrase and come up with interesting wrap up sentences and leave the reader with an interesting thought to think about after they finish reading the paragraph.

When students finish, they can write the paragraph neatly and affix their photo to the paper. The paragraphs can be displayed around the room for students to peruse.

An additional activity is for students to find five facts that they did not know about five people in the room. This can be turned into a writing activity as well.