Lesson Plan

Sensory Language: Writing a Five Senses Poem

Combine the power of poetry and storytelling to teach your first graders about sensory language in this exciting lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Describing the World Using Sensory Language pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Describing the World Using Sensory Language pre-lesson.

Using sensory language—descriptive words that relate to the senses—is key to enhancing writing and creating a visceral experience for any reader. In this reading and writing lesson plan for first graders, budding poets will practice using sensory words as they take on writing a five senses poem. Learners will read a story that demonstrates sensory language, practice describing a familiar playground using their five senses, and discover how onomatopoeia (e.g. pop, fizz, clink) can play a sensory role. Finally, they will craft a poem on a topic of their choice describing what they see, feel, hear, smell, and taste.

Learning Objectives

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

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(5 minutes)
Five Senses Poem
  • Gather students together for the start of lesson.
  • Review the five senses with your students and can describe each one. Ask students to describe the school playground using the five senses. Write their words and phrases on the board under the heading for each of the five senses (touch, smell, sight, sound, taste).
  • Tell students that today they are going to be thinking about sensory language. This is when they use words to describe things or feelings in a way that reminds us of our different senses.


  • Preview the lesson by reviewing the five senses using a song or read-aloud text.
  • Provide additional examples of sensory language for students to utilize.


  • Go outside and have students physically explore the playground using their five senses.
  • Write examples of sensory language on a classroom anchor chart.