Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Do Words Feel? (Individually)

Christine Davis
Bay District Schools


Students discover how spoken words feel by exploring these same words in textured print.


The student knows various ways of communicating care and consideration of others (e.g., sharing and saying `please` and `thank you`).


-A paper for every student with a cotton ball glued on the upper right hand corner and a 1 x 1 inch square of sandpaper glued on the upper left hand corner
-The following words cut out of tagboard:
*nice - covered with cottonballs
*please - covered with feathers
*thank you - covered with felt
*ugly - covered with sandpaper
*stupid - covered with rice
*dumb - covered with gravel


1. Prepare a piece of paper that has a cottonball glued on the top left side and a 1 x 1 piece of sandpaper glued on the top right side.
2. Cut out letters from the Elison machine and glue on paper for the following words: ugly, please, nice, thank you, shut up, stupid. (optional: handcut the words if no machine is available)
3. Cover each of the words with the following materials:
*nice -cottonballs
*please - feathers
*thank you - felt
*ugly - sandpaper
*stupid - rice
*dumb - gravel


1. Keep the words hidden from the students.

2. Ask the students how they can let somebody know what they are thinking or feeling? Discuss how we can communicate both with words and body language (ie - rolling eyes, folding arms, pushing, etc.)

3. Discuss with the students how we have feelings and things that happen to us that can affect our feelings and moods. Ask the students how they feel when somebody pushes them down or gives them a hug. How does it make them feel?

4. Ask the students if they have ever felt a word. Discuss with the students how words might feel. (ie soft, rough, grainy, sharp)

5. Call for a student to come to the front of the room.

6. The student faces the class and raises his/her hand in the air.

7. Take a -word- and rub it gently against the student's skin, without showing it to the class.

8. Ask the student if this word feels like a nice word or a mean word. Why does he/she feel this way?

9. Show the class the word and tell them what it is. Explain to the class that this word is a mean/nice word because it feels rough/soft.

10. Pass the word around the room and let the rest of the students feel the word.

11. Repeat this process with the rest of the words using different students as volunteers.

12. Point out how sharp the edges are for mean words and how soft the edges are for nice words. When mean words are spoken, they are felt more strongly and remembered better than nice words with their fuzzy edges.

13. Pass out a piece of paper that has a cotton ball and a piece of sandpaper glued on it at the top.

14. The students write at least 3 nice words under the cotton ball and 3 ugly words under the sandpaper.

15. Allow time for the students to discuss and share the words that they wrote under the sandpaper and cotton ball.

16. Have students write or speak about a time when a word made them feel good or bad. Have the students include what the word felt like ( fluffy, sandpaper).


Students demonstrate their understanding of how words feel by writing 3 nice words under the cottonball and three mean words under the sandpaper.
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