Describing emotions is a key part of any primary school English composition. A composition that showcases the characters’ emotions well has the ability to make the reader feel invested, and understand the characters better.
However, how many ways can you actually say ‘She was happy’? While most primary school students are familiar with basic emotions words like ‘happy’, ‘mad’, ‘sad’, it is not enough. It takes practice to master the ‘show, not tell’ approach and add variety to one’s writing.
In this article, we take a leaf out of the Primary School English Tuition notes prepared by our own Future Academy tutor, and share some tips on how to write better descriptions for emotions in the primary school composition.
Techniques for describing emotions
1. Use similes and metaphors
Simile: Comparing two things using the words ‘as’ or ‘like’
Example: She was as red as a beetroot. / She turned red, like a beetroot.
Metaphor: Describing something by referring to it as another thing which shares some similarities.
Example: He was boiling with anger. (Explanation: A living human can’t possibly be literally boiling! But ‘boiling’ shows the uneasy, turbulent feeling that is associated with anger.)
When you use figures of speech like similes and metaphors, they make your writing more colourful and varied. These devices are fantastic for describing emotions, because they make the abstract concept of emotion feel more tangible. Use them well to make your writing more relatable and lively!