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Write a Sensory Poem

Students will write a sensory poem that tells about an awe-inspiring place. They will include descriptions and examples so readers understand how this place makes them feel.

PROCESS:

  1. Introduce students to the concept of a sensory poem. Explain that this type of poem uses the five senses to describe something. The purpose of a sensory poem is to relate the emotional connection between the writer and his or her chosen topic.
  2. Remind students that the article talked about the many ways that awe-inspiring places can affect people. Encourage students to think of a place that affects them in this way. If possible, instruct students to find or take a photograph of this place. If not, have them draw a picture.
  3. Then have students write a sensory poem that both describes the place and tells how it makes them feel. Instruct students to use the following format for their poems: I see, I feel, I hear, I smell, I taste, I wonder, I think, I am.
  4. Give students time to complete their poems.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their poems with the class. Instruct students to identify the place featured in each poem and the overall feeling each author was trying to express. Encourage classmates to identify what they thought was the best line of each poem. 

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
As a class, evaluate the overall emotional appeal of each poem. Invite authors to explain why they chose specific sensory words to describe the place and how it made them feel. 

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Have groups evaluate the overall emotional appeal of each poem. Instruct authors to explain why they chose specific sensory words to describe the place or express how it made them feel. Have group members brainstorm a list of other words the author could have used. Encourage them to discuss how using some of these other words could have changed the tone of the poem.   

Grades 7-8:
As a class, analyze how the author's word choices and sentence structure affected the tone of each poem. After all poems have been read, tell students to think about the poems as a whole. Which type of place did students write about most often? Overall, how did these places make students feel? Which characteristics are most likely to turn a place into an awe-inspiring location?

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into small groups. Have groups evaluate the overall emotional appeal of each poem. Then instruct them to analyze how the author's word choices and sentence structure affected the tone of each poem. Which sensory words were used most often? Which were most effective? How did the author relay sensory or emotional details through the length and structure of sentences?