This works for 11+, Common Entrance, or for GCSE. If you need to 'add more detail' to your stories or descriptions need to be improved, try this picture exercise. The images are all from India and there's plenty to describe, plus a list below of useful sensory language to help you. If I'm working with students who need help, I normally tell them to use ten words from the list.
Usually when we do this, the sentences are all quite repetitive: 'The palace is like lace...', 'The walls are bone white...' so make sure to also vary sentence starts. Find out how here.
If you're a teacher or parent, there's a super detailed version of this that I made on TES Resources called 'Places for Chases' with 53 images of places to help with writing description or stories about a chase.
PALACE like lace, lacy, carved, fretwork, marble, like a wedding cake, tipped with gold, scalloped arches, gingerbread balustrade, rust-coloured brick, wood panelling, curled carving, minaret, swirled, cobalt sky, violent sky, frilled clouds, dusted with clouds, swirling. COLOURS: cobalt (deep, heavy mid-blue), lapis lazuli (deep blue precious jewel), cream, gold, marble, alabaster, bone-white, rust, copper, burnished wood.
MOSQUE powdered heat, hot dry air, dust-coloured sky, onion dome, crescent, finial (the twirly bit at the tip of the roof), tiny-paned arched windows, yellow mist, smooth tiled floor, carved panels, geometric design (abstract design based on shapes), heat rising, raised up. COLOURS: apricot, peach, pastel, mustard, creamy, marble, gold, treacle-dark, gleaming wood, lead-coloured, shadowed.
SUNSET: yellow wash, shivering in the water, reflected back, doubled, minarets, towers, gilded, lantern-shaped towers, fretted, crenellated, arched walkways, promenade, crowds, spreading tree, hammered surface, like an ivory jewel-box, luminous, silhouette. COLOURS: mustard, copper, gold, brass, rust, alabaster, cream, bone-white, ivory, ash-grey.
The author, Melanie Kendry, is an Oxford graduate, outstanding-rated English Language and Literature teacher and of ages 10-18 in the British education system. In 2012, she was nominated for Pearson's Teaching Awards. As a private tutor, she raises grades often from C to A. Her writing is also featured in The Huffington Post. She offers private tuition in the Haywards Heath area, West Sussex.