Describe a Happy Family Event Like This Dance

It’s not easy for students to describe a family event.  It seems like it would be easy, but it’s not.  This is a lesson to help them do so!

*This post contains affiliate links.  For more information, see my disclosures here.*

I came across the book Dance at Grandpa’s* by Laura Ingalls Wilder somewhere, somehow.  It’s in my library of children’s books here at home.  When I actually took time to read it, I was so impressed with how descriptive the story was about a family event.

describe a family event-dance at grandpas

I wanted to give my campers an opportunity to describe a family event of their own.  Since the event in the story took place during the winter, I decided to teach this lesson in the winter as well.

Common Core State Standards

NOTE: This writing prompt can address the following Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.3, W.1.3, W.2.3, W.3.3., W.3.3.C, W.3.3.D, W.4.3, W.4.3.A, W.4.3.C, W.4.3.D, W.4.3.D, W.5.3, W.5.3.A, W.5.3.C, W.5.3.D and W.5.3.E.


To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post.  The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.  Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7

Tell the Story Line

  1. First tell the story line:  “You’re going to describe in detail a special family event that you enjoy.  You’ll describe the location, people, food, activities and actions.”


2.  Second, have the children brainstorm family events that they have experienced.  Examples include:

A Christmas party, Grandma’s birthday, a baby shower, a cousin’s graduation, a pool party, baptism, 1st communion, bar or bat mitzvah  etc.

Give the students time to think of a family event.

Read the Book

3.  Third, read the book, Dance At Grandpa’s to the group.  Point out descriptions as you read them (the weather, location, people, activities, foods, sounds actions etc.)

Show the 5 Sections

Event Location

People’s Actions




As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction:  K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.


Guide the students through the following steps so their description is organized.  (I’ve written examples in italics just for your own guidance.)

Event and Location
  1. Name the event and location.

Every Thanksgiving, my family and I go to my grandma’s house.

  1. Second, describe the location.

She lives in the country in Indiana.  The land is flat with huge corn fields.  There are big red barns. 

 People’s Actions
  1. Third, describe the people’s actions.

My grandma, mom and aunt stay in the kitchen to cook the food.  They don’t let any kids in the kitchen!  My cousins and I play outside until the food is ready.  One year it snowed so much!  So, my oldest cousin brought his snow mobile.

  1. Fourth, describe the food.

The food smells so good while we play.  The turkey is always huge.  My grandma makes the best mashed potatoes with lots of butter and salt. 

  1. Fifth, describe the activities.

After we eat, my uncles sit on the couches and watch football.  They fall asleep and snore really loudly.  The women all go for a walk.  Then, we play board games.

  1. Describe the ending. Write your thoughts or feelings.

In the evening, we get all the food out again.  We eat one more time.  We play one more game.  I love Thanksgiving with my family so much!

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.


As soon as the students finish their story, they can work on their art accent.  If their family invent indeed takes/took place in the winter, they can add a winter snow art accent to their border.

describe a family event about snow


Correct the paragraph

Sentence Scramblers:  (Writing Game #1)  Use these descriptive sentences from the book, Dance at Grandpa’s to play!

Tale or Truth- telling your own stories. (Talking Game #6)