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"My Humorous Thoughts About Life & Teaching"

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Using Multiple Senses in Writing

#iteach #writing #writingtips


When teaching, how many of your students tell all about what they see in a scene? The visual is popular in young writers, but it's certainly not the only way to provide details in a story. We have five senses, so a writer who only includes the visual is short changing his or her readers. At a writers' conference, I was told that every time a character enters a new scene, that scene should be described with at least three senses.

To make students aware of multiple senses, I give them a handful of highlighter pens and ask them to color code their writing as follows:

  • sight - green
  • hearing - orange
  • touch - pink
  • smell - yellow
  • taste - purple
  • emotion - blue

After highlighting the senses used in writing, something is always missing, and it's usually not what the students sees.

#TpT #teachers #iteach456
Imagine a scene in the forest.

Sure, students can write about the green leafy canopy above, but how about including the sounds of the wind blowing those leaves and the crunch below their feet as they wander through the woods?

Or students could write about how they shiver in the cool breeze that spreads the scent of pine through the forest. Smell is quite powerful in writing because it often connects the reader to a memory. While smell provides the memory, taste means a challenge to the novice writer and is often the hardest sense to incorporate into a scene. When kids write about taste, make sure the taste has meaning in whatever is being written, rather than something thrown into a story for the sake of including the sense of taste. It is better to leave taste out altogether than to add it in a way that doesn't work for the reader.

I've also included emotion because a story with no emotion will come off as flat. After all, we are usually writing stories with main characters, and the more relatable the character, the more we will care about where they go or what they do.

Including multiple senses in writing is like colorizing a black and white movie. For a fun and productive lesson, have your students critique their own writing for senses and then work to add whatever is missing. Be sure to share the results!

If you are interested in teaching students to write using multiple senses, below is a link to a PowerPoint lesson that does just that.

#teachers, #tips, #writing using multiple senses



Using Senses in Writing









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Thanks to Kate Hadfield Designs for the clipart. 

2 comments:

Binky said...

Did you make any changes to your blog lately? The last couple of weeks, Norton has been flagging your site as a potential scam risk.

Catch My Words said...

No. Just posting regularly. I don't know what that's about but thanks for the heads up.