Use these activities to reinforce and introduce the five senses to your students writing. There is an activity/lesson for each of the senses. Students will apply what they already know to become more effective writers - in a FUN way!
Teacher pages and lesson plans will guide teachers through these standards and this unit with minimal preparation. While utilizing these activities, students will write through many genres so they can see the vast array of writing options.
Why is Sensory Writing Important?
The Common Core
Prior to grade 4, The Common Core asks that students use “descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences...” (CCSS.ELA-Literacy).
Beginning in grade 4, The Common Core requires that students use “sensory details” in their writing to convey experiences (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.D).
After grade 4, sensory details are required to “convey experiences and events precisely” (grades 5 & 6), to “capture the action” (grades 7 & 8), to “convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters” (grades 9-12).
Visit corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/ for more information.
Research About Sensory Writing
Instead of using vague, abstract terms, use concrete, sensory details (writingcommons.org).
Picture the memory and focus on sensory details to create a clear picture (Will Hobbs from Write Away).
Rebecca Colby and others (1995) found that using multi-sensory, hands-on approaches promotes positive outcomes in enthusiasm and fluency in writing .
Much research shows that helping students to see the experience more vividly helps them to recount it more fully, using sensory language.
High Stakes Testing
NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) requires that students use sensory details in their writing
Smarter Balanced Assessments required sensory writing
SAT - some writing requires students to use sensory details