In this assignment, students may work individually or in groups to write poems that explore the sensory elements associated with a topic. Not only will they learn the power of imagery in their own writing, but also they will be able to identify imagery in the literature that they read.
In handout one, the student will write down specific phrases that describe images for all five senses that are associated with the topic. Students should write several examples for each of the senses. For an example of each of the senses, if the topic were "autumn," the student might use the following:
sight: yellow, orange, and red leaves floating in the air
sound: firewood popping in furnace
smell: spicy, sweet pumpkin pie baking in oven
touch: soft warm sweaters
taste: sweet, tart apple cider
Once the chart is completed, the student(s) then must choose the most vivid images and assemble them into a poem. The best poems do not form complete sentences; rather, they group images in phrases to create a sensory effect.
I have used this assignment to introduce students to literature, as well. For example in preparation for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, I had students complete the chart for "all things Southern."
National Standard Specifically Addressed:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.