EL Support Lesson

Describing the World Using Sensory Language

What are the five senses and how do we use them everyday? Students get a chance to practice using sensory language as they think about the world around them. Can be used as a stand alone or support for the Writing a Five Senses Poem lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Sensory Language: Writing a Five Senses Poem lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Sensory Language: Writing a Five Senses Poem lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify and write words and phrases that suggest feelings and appeal to the senses.


Students will be able to identify grade level sensory words to use in their writing using written and visual supports.

(3 minutes)
  • Hold up an object (such as an apple) and ask students to tell you what they see.
  • Ask students to imagine that their partner has never seen an apple. Have them turn and talk to a partner to describe or tell all about what they see using as many details as they can.
  • Invite students to share out some of the ways they described the apple. Say, "You just used your sense of sight to describe the apple. We use our senses to make sense of the world around us. Your other senses are your sense of smell, touch, hearing, and taste."
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the new tiered words for this lesson by providing student-friendly definitions (you can use the visual vocabulary cards and glossary as reference).
  • As you introduce each word, provide examples of how the word might be used. Encourage students to practice using the words to describe the apple from the introduction.
  • Explain that today students will get to practice their sensory language skills to describe lots of different things in the classroom.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the Five Senses Observation worksheet. Model how students will get to choose an object in the classroom (without picking it up, just looking at it) and describe the object using sensory language and lots of details.
  • Demonstrate choosing an object and describing it verbally and in writing (using the same order as the worksheet), and have students try to identify what the object is.
  • Invite students to share out their ideas until the correct answer is given.
  • Review the five senses and the sensory language you used to describe your object.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will practice using sensory language to describe an object of their choice. Tell students that they shouldn't share what object they are describing because we will be posting the descriptions for their classmates to guess.
  • Hand out the worksheet to each student.


  • Have students work in a small group to describe additional objects using all five of their senses.
  • Work with the students to write sentences using the sensory language they come up with.


  • Invite students to describe a second object using their five senses.
  • Have students focus on using vivid language and lots of sensory details.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are writing their descriptions, assess if they are able to describe their object using sensory language.
  • Collect student worksheets and assess if students were able to utilize all five senses when writing their descriptions.
(2 minutes)
  • Invite students to trade worksheets with a partner to see if they can guess each other's object.
  • Close by saying, "Our senses tell us so much about the world! The more clearly we can describe our surroundings, the easier it is to share our ideas with others."

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