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Sensory Details Teacher Resources
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Figures of speech, sensory details, and academic language are all targeted while reading Chapter Two of J. Ferris’ Go Free or Die. First, learners engage in an exercise to practice describing with detail. Then, partners use a chart to record and explain the meaning of the examples of figurative language listed. In addition to the page numbers of passages particularly rich in detail, assessment and worksheet links are provided.
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.
Young writers use nouns, verbs, and adjectives to describe details in two paintings. One depicts a sunny landscape, and the other shows a cloudier view. They write a narrative inspired by the paintings, paying attention to transitional words or phrases and sensory details. They will then use color and line to create their own calm or stormy landscape.
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.
Read to write! The class lists sensory details based on the plot of a story they have recently read. They create a drawing of a bracelet and use the bracelet's jewels or charms to list sensory details included in the story. They then use transitional words and phrases to put the story in sequence. Links to all necessary materials are included.
Groups of older elementary learners begin their study of figurative language by visiting a website and completing the exercises detailed there. They then apply what they have learned by finding examples in several poems. Finally, they work independently locating examples of figurative language in Chapter Four of J. Ferris’ Go Free or Die and recording phrases from the text on a figurative language and sensory detail chart graphic organizer.
Discuss how to use sensory details in creative and descriptive writing. Scholars observe and experience a sensory rich item such as a bar of soap or peanut butter, and then use descriptive language to describe it. Consider having your learners choose a sensory rich object of their own and write a description for it. Can anyone guess the object?
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.