Lesson plan

Making Sense of Sensory Words

With this super sensory lesson, students will make sense of a variety of sensory words. In addition to exploring sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell words, students will make connections to real-life experiences!
Grade Subject View aligned standards
  • Students will be able to make connections between sensory words and real-life examples.
  • Students will be able to identify and explain the meaning of sensory words.
(5 minutes)
  • Using a picture that includes one or more demonstrations of sight, touch, taste, sound, or smell, ask the students to name words that are represented by that picture.
  • Tell the students that they will be making connections between sensory words and real-life experiences.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell the students that sensory words can be used to enhance meaning and provide greater detail about the context.
  • Use sensory words from the suggested word list (e.g., bawling, slippery, sour, rocky, fragrant) or your own selected words that include sensory words of sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Write a sentence on the board that includes each word in the context of its meaning.
  • Demonstrate how you can make connections between the words, context, and real-life application, thinking aloud and describing those connections.
  • Create a quick illustration on the board that represents the context or use pictures to illustrate these concepts.
(20 minutes)
  • Divide students into pairs and tell the students that they will be creating illustrations that represent various sensory words. How can the sensory words be used? When would each of the sensory words be used?
  • Give each pair of students a piece of white paper and ask them to create an illustration that represents the context of how their word can be used.
  • Give students the option to use a dictionary or online search to determine the meaning of words if they are unfamiliar.
  • As needed, prompt the students with additional examples or provide additional contexts.
  • After all students have finished, invite students to share their words with the rest of the class in the context of how the words can be used.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the worksheet, Bringing Words to Life.
  • If needed, give students an example of how the words are used.
  • If students have difficulty determining meaning, guide them in using additional resources such as a dictionary or online dictionary.


  • Challenge students to use sensory words in multiple contexts.
  • Challenge students to create clues that match sensory words and trade clues with a partner, trying to guess matching words.


  • Instead of having students create an illustration using paper, challenge the students to either create illustrations using Google Drawings or other platforms, or locate pictures that represent their sensory words.
  • Show a variety of pictures on a PowerPoint slide show, or other document. Challenge the students to name sensory words that can be used to describe the picture.
  • Ask students to name one word from each of the five senses and to write an example of how that word can be used to enhance meaning.
(5 minutes)
  • Using the students’ work from the guided practice section, cover the words represented with a sticky note.
  • Invite students to guess the word that is represented by the illustration.
  • As an alternative, ask students to work in small groups to create a skit or tableau that can represent one of the sensory words.
  • Conclude the lesson by discussing how certain words represent the five senses and can provide greater meaning in texts.

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