Sensory Details Teacher Resources
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Sensory details show the story instead of telling it. Emerging writers discuss ways to convey sensory details. They practice adding sensory details in a graphic organizer before adding details to their own scripts.
The second in a series of nine exercises designed to develop songwriting skills introduces the idea of elaboration. After a close reading and discussion of the elaborations in Vanessa Hudgens' "Sneakernight," young songwriters practice using sensory details and examples to engage listeners. The scripted plan includes graphic organizers and links to all materials.
Read a sample of creative descriptive writing to your science class. Discuss how writing can be used to record and communicate observations that scientists make. Reading selections and thought-provoking questions are suggested. Also included are a sensory observation sheet for elementary learners and a sensory detail word bank for middle and high schoolers. Take your class outdoors to practice writing, or give them interesting objects to describe. This is a terrific exercise in encouraging junior scientists to pay attention to detail.
Students define and give examples of five senses, compiling a list of sensory words to be used in a written descriptive paragraph.
Incorporate sensory details into a piece of descriptive writing. First, elementary and middle schoolers improve a piece of writing by using precise, vivid language, as well as appropriate word choice. They then listen to a variety of read aloud books which focus on the senses. Can they identify which senses are used and when?
Dress up to catch the class's attention before reading a silly story aloud. Learners identify five sensory details within the story and interpret two metaphors. They then collaborate on sequencing events before retelling the story using storyboard illustrations. They create an illustration and sound effects for their scenes. A chart details the pacing for the various activities.
Sixth graders write descriptive narratives about animals. In this descriptive writing lesson, the teacher models how to write a paragraph with interesting sensory words and exciting verbs. Students choose a picture of an animal they want to write about. Students begin writing about the animal and use self and peer editing. When the class is finished, all narratives are put together to create a class animal book.
Add to the narrative writing experience. Elementary or middle school writers listen to the teacher read a descriptive passage, then reread the same passage silently. They highlight sensory details and figurative language, then orally share their highlighted sections.
Second graders listen to a story that contains many sensory words to describe an object. They listen a second time using a signal to indicate when they hear a sensory word. They write a short story about a monster using appropriate words, participate in peer editing activities, and then illustrate the story.
Encourage your class to use sensory details in their writing with this activity! This activity provides a short passage about dancing princesses and asks young writers to identify sensory details, develop a setting for a folktale, and write a description of the setting. It includes two graphic organizers to help class members categorize details and plan out the setting they are going to describe.
Activate sensory writing with this activity. First, learners read a passage called "Up to Grandmother's Attic," which is full of sensory details. After identifying the descriptive words in the passage, novice writers think of a setting for a new story, picture it in their mind, and then fill in their ideas on the chart provided. The final goal is to compose a description of their imagined setting. This resource could be used at the beginning of a creative writing or narrative writing unit.<
Students use visual imagery in dealing with a stressful situation. They practice the visual imagery in class and at home. They record their reflections in a journal.
Demonstrate how to use sensory details in writing with this resource. Leaners first read a short story called "My Big Idea." After reading, they describe how the setting looks, sounds, feels and smells. Using the description in the story as background knowledge, class members begin to plan a description of their own special setting with the provided graphic organizer.
Have your writers identify and use words that appeal to the senses. They create a chart of sensory words and record some of their favorites, then write a journal entry in which they describe eating at a restaurant using sensory details. A great way to build a descriptive vocabulary.
Students discover how to create suspense by slowing down a moment and include sensory details in their writing. After a lecture/demo, students write a short story that is packed with suspense. They exchange their stories, giving each other feedback.
Dander from the show Twisted Whiskers and characters from My Little Pony are featured in this three part lesson that explores using story pyramids to scaffold ideas, adding sensory details to enrich writing, and editing using common editing marks. Richly detailed, the lesson includes models, examples, and links to activity sheets.
Have you assigned your learners a creative writing project, only to find that their incredible creativity doesn't easily translate to writing? Here's some practice to kick them into sensory overload! Using their five senses, they choose vocabulary words from a word bank to describe a variety of scenarios. A bonus round has them describe more complex concepts such as a blank white wall, embarrassment, happiness, the universe, and their hurting brain!
A great way to reinforce descriptive writing, this lesson serves as an exploration of adjectives and sensory words. First, pupils describe a family tradition using as many sensory details as they can. Then, they try to draw a scene from a story using the details provided. Finally, they engage in a walking gallery in which they look at pictures on a computer screen, providing an adjective for each.
The practice of developing lyrics by elaborating with sensory details and examples continues in the third lesson on songwriting. This time class members examine Jesse McCartney's "How Do You Sleep?" Using procedures established in the previous lesson, groups find examples of sensory details and references to specific incidents in McCartney's lyrics. To conclude the exercise, individuals revise lyrics they have been composing and then evaluate the impact of their revisions.
Class members journal about a special place, combining sensory details with personal experiences to create a mood piece. After sharing their work in small groups, learners read “Night Heat,” by Mike Lewis. The subsequent discussion focuses on details Lewis uses to create the mood of the narrative. Lewis’s story is not included but can be easily accessed on the Internet. Suggestions for optional extension activities are included.