Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Observing Sensory Details

Cynthia Youngblood
Santa Rosa District Schools


In small groups, students choose two experiences or images from a given list and experience or directly observe each detail before they write about it, describing each one in several sentences.


The student demonstrates a command of the language (including but not limited to precise word choice, appropriate figurative language).


-Peanut butter
-A bar of soap
-Ice cubes in a glass of water
-A lemon
-Observing Sensory Details (see associated file)
-School locker
-A pickle covered with chocolate syrup
-Post-it pads (Sticky notes)
-Poster-size piece of paper


Obtain objects and materials which will be used for sensory observation.


1. Discuss using sensory details in creative, descriptive writing.

2. Distribute “Observing Sensory Details” handout (associated file) and explain assignment before groups are divided.

3. Distribute evaluation form and explain criteria. (See attachment.)

4. Divide class into seven small groups and assign one of the writing situations.

5. Groups meet together.

6. Supply each group with materials needed for writing assignment. (See materials list.)

7. Students directly experience the sensory details of situation; then members of the group write ideas and images on sticky notes and place on a poster-size piece of paper.

8. The group writes a descriptive paragraph about the situation using responses on sticky notes.

9. Each group shares completed paragraph.

10. In order to evaluate, the collect the group's prewriting activity (poster with sticky notes) and finished paragraph.


Assess the poster with sticky notes and the paragraph. Student work should demonstrate a command of the English language including word choice that conveys a sensory image, idea, texture, etc. Feedback involves encouraging students to be creative and use figurative laguage such as similes, alliteration, etc. that enhance the image.

Attached Files

This file contains: Handout on “Observing Sensory Details”     File Extension: pdf

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