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Writing Activity
Writing with the Five Senses
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Writing with the Five Senses
We have five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. It's around us at all times, some more than others, but how do you incorporate these into your writing?

Here is a fun activity I did in my writing course at the Institute of Children's Literature. So, whether you are a teacher looking for a way to teach this to your students; a student looking to make your writing more interesting; or a new writer trying to add some spice to your story, try out this activity. I have written it in a lesson plan form for teachers, but anyone can use this activity.

Remember: Have fun with it!
Using the Five Senses In Your Writing:

Essential Question: Why do we use the five senses in our writing?

Objective: Students will be able to describe a place they know well by using their five senses.

Core Standards:W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

Materials: a sheet with 5 columns listing taste, touch, smell, sight, sound.

Instruction: Before (spend about 5 minutes on this). Read the following statement to the class: A delicious smell came from the kitchen.

Then read this one: Johnny sat in the family room, his stomach grumbling from the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. He could already taste the warm apples, flaky crust, and cinnamon melting on his tongue.

Now ask your students, which one sounds more interesting? Which one gives you a better idea of what is happening in the story? Why?

Today, you are going to think of a favorite place. Think about the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and things you would touch there. On this sheet paper are 5 boxes--one for each sense. Your job is to write down your words and phrases that describe your favorite place.

During: Students are describing their favorite place. Remind them to just write words and phrases. We are not looking for complete sentences and paragraphs yet.

After: Students will share and see if their classmates can figure out what place is being described.

Make sure these go into the students' writing folders for future reference.
During my writing class, I did this activity and then I had to write a 500-word description of my favorite childhood place. I chose my grandparents woods, which was eventually used in my story, Dear Daddy.

This is an activity you may want to use with your advanced writers. If you would like more information about this assignment or would like a copy of my assignment, please email me:


Remember: Have fun. Let your kids explore the fun side of writing.