How do we engage students of all ages in lively, precise writing – in writing creatively, enthusiastically? Here, based on years of classroom experience, is a practical primer which shows teachers how to guide their students toward detailed, clear-cut descriptions. Such practicalities as tracking homework, managing corrections, and evaluating written work are also considered. Though the emphasis is on middle school, this approach is applicable to high school and beyond. Specific examples from lessons, samples of students’ actual writing, as well as ideas and exercises to avoid the maudlin, the sentimental, the unbelievable or the bland, will inspire teachers and their students. Cultivation of imaginative yet clear thinking leads to improved word-choice and stronger sentences, more fluent paragraphs, stories and essays. For college, for careers, for life, these are invaluable skills.