Appealing-To-The-Senses Descriptive Essay

Presentation on theme: "Sense Writing Exploring descriptive writing through the five senses"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sense Writing Exploring descriptive writing through the five senses
Mrs. HillClear Lake Middle School8th Grade Language Arts

2 Show…Don’t Tell **Choose one of the following topic sentences
**Write a descriptive paragraph about that particular topic**5-7 compound/complex sentences**Be sure to use various wording**ALWAYS pay attention to the corrections discussed in class

3 Show…Don’t Tell Sentences to choose from:
1. There were many interesting costumes at the party.2. Spring will soon be here.3. The students were having fun.4. She was exhausted.

4 Sense of SightSight words describe appearance, shapes, movements, and colors. In each sentence below, choose the word that creates the most specific picture for the reader:

5 Sense of Sight Two squirrels (jumped, leaped) from branch to branch.
The thief was seen (loitering, walking) in the alley.The colt’s glossy coat gleamed (amber, brown) in the sun.We all (ran, scrambled) to be first at the bus stop.Sara’s (freckled, spotted) face grew ashen in fear.The (chubby, portly) two-year-old clapped his hands in delight.The exhausted woman (plodded, walked) into the classroom.The (dotted, dappled) fawn trailed after its mother.

6 Sense of Sight Add additional words to each category:
Appearance—singed, hollow, chipped, cracked, frayed, rough, large, meek (weak)Movement (fast)—hustle, scramble, scurry, scramMovement (slow)—walk, shuffle, plod, crawl, waddle, loiterShapes—octagon, oval, squiggly, pentagon, hexagon, circular, cluster, acute, obtuse, portly, chubby, sharp, shrunkenRed—brick, crimson, cranberryBlue—sapphire, teal, royalYellow—gold, custardWhite—enamel, chalkBlack—tar, midnight, pitchPurple—violet, indigo, bruiseGray—ashen, dull, slate, metalBrown—amber, tan, beigeGreen—emerald

7 Sense of Sight Describe a sunset.
Homework assignment:*Using the ideas we have been discussing about writing (length and structure), write a paragraph about the following:Describe a sunset.Example topic sentence: The orange glow of the sun melted into the puffy clouds.

8 Sense of Sight: SunsetI watch as the crimson, orange globe dives closer and closer to the flowing green lake. Finally, I see it touch down and begin to sink farther below the trees, hills, slopes, rocks, dirt, and grass into unknown territory. It is making a desperate struggle by shooting beams of yellow, orange, and red light into the baby blue sky. I see it traveling farther down, wishing I could help the innocent globe, but I'm useless. Then, all of a sudden, it disappears below the emerald horizon, and everything goes black.

9 Sense of Sight: SunsetThe red and orange sun began sinking its way back into the depths of space. The tints of red, orange, and pink that flooded the sky was a masterpiece. Although the sun was setting, the sky's colors turned even more rich and full. The last glimmer off the azure sea looks like a thousand diamonds dancing on blue silk. The sun’s last few rays came dancing down, and I saw the green flash. Although the sun has set, I continue to watch its painting flow across the heavens. The suns farewell is the most beautiful goodbye there is.

10 Choose the word that creates the most vivid sound
Sense of HearingChoose the word that creates the most vivid soundfor the reader to hear.

11 Sense of Hearing Sam (bellows, sounds) like a bull when he is angry.
We heard the hens (peep, cackle) in alarm.The squeaking chalk (grated, scraped) on my ears.Jane’s (whining, piercing) voice rose above the crowd.Jim (jingled, clanged) the coins in his pocket.Raindrops (thumped, pattered) on the cottage roof.

12 Sense of Hearing Add additional words to each category:
LoudHowlRipBangShattered/crackMarchBoomThrashgallopGrindingyelpwhooshBellowRoarpopSoftGroanWhimperTapGaspHumPeepechocrunchmurmurScuttleSqueakPatterTingChirpWhisper (psst)SpeechWhimperRoarSlurBellowRaspMumbleyell/yelpFirm/boldBreathSqueakScreamWhiningquestioning

13 Sense of HearingWrite a phrase for each of the following. Make your readerHEAR the sound in their mind.Example: a chairThe chair scraped and scratched its way across the floor.A movie theatre (before the movie begins)School dismissalA traffic jam

14 Sense of Hearing Homework assignment:
*Using the ideas we have been discussing about writing (length and structure), write a paragraph about the following:Imagine that you were surfing when a storm blew in. Thewaves crashed in around you as you tried desperately to getback to shore. You couldn't see anything. All you could hearwas the roar of the waves. Describe the sounds.

15 Choose the touch word that best creates a vivid picture.
Sense of Touch/FeelChoose the touch word that best creates a vivid picture.Sam’s frostbitten finger’s felt (cold, numb).Lisa felt (stabs, prickles) of fear as she entered the cave.Jim refused to touch the (wet, slimy) seaweed.A (bad, stabbing) pain shot through Joe’s finger.The old man’s face was (tough, leathery) from the sun.

16 Sense of Touch/Feel Add additional words:

17 Sense of Touch/Feel Homework assignment:
*Using the ideas we have been discussing about writing (length and structure), write a paragraph about one of the following:1. Walking along a beach or road on a hot day2. Trudging through snow in January3. Walking in the rain on a warm spring day

18 Sense of Taste and Smell
Write answers to the following questions:What tastes do you like? Dislike?Write a phrase describing the taste of your favorite food.What is your favorite smell?What does your room smell like?What are some classrooms in the school that have distinct smells?Can you think of a memory associated with a smell?

19 Sense of Taste and Smell Add additional words to each category:
butteryfruitystaletartcreamytangydullSmellperfumedearthysulphurousskunkymuskymothballssweatyherbalmusty (old)cinnamonsweet

20 Sense of Taste and Smell
Choose the word that creates the most vivid picture.An (acrid, horrible) smell remained long after the fire.The rotting fish had a (putrid, unbearable) odor.The air smells (wonderful, clean) after a summer thunderstorm.Old coats can smell (bad, musty).

21 Sense of Taste and Smell
Homework assignment:*Using the ideas we have been discussing about writing (length and structure), write a paragraph about following:You are lying in bed on Saturday morning when you awakento the aroma of coffee percolating and bacon frying along with other foods. Describe the smells of breakfast cooking.   

22 Sense of Taste and Smell
Spend a few minutes “tasting” or “smelling” the following objects. Then write a sentence that describes it vividly. For example: The wet couch smelled of mothballs.a lemon dropa piece of toasta pencila firetoothpaste

23 Doctor’s office (DOCTOR)
Sense of SmellWrite a paragraph describing one of the scenes below (incorporate any/all senses). When finished, write an acrostic poem describing that same scene (use phrases). Try to capture the distinctive odor of the scene you choose to describe.Doctor’s office (DOCTOR)Bakery (BAKERY)Flower shop (FLOWER)

24 Be sure to highlight or underline all sense words
Sense DocumentParagraphs/Assignments to be typed on Sense Document:Be sure to highlight or underline all sense words**Sense of Sight: Sunset**Sense of Hearing: Waves**Sense of Hearing: Writing Cycle**Sense of Touch/Feel: (choice of topic from list)**Sense of Taste and Smell: Breakfast**Sense of Smell: (choice of topic from list)**Sense of Smell: Acrostic Poem

25 Refer to the link on this page entitled
Final Sense WritingRefer to the link on this page entitledFinal Sense Writing

26 A day at the beach or pool
Extra Credit (10 points)Write two to three paragraphs creating a scene. Appeal to ALL of the senses—sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Make sure you include each sense at least twice (underline your sense words). Your reader should feel as though they are right in your setting. Due on the same date as your final sense writing (by the end of the school day)—only a FINAL DRAFT is needed!A supermarketA day at the beach or poolAn accidentEating at a restaurant

This guest post is by Marianne Richmond. Marianne is the author of If I Could Keep You Littleand more than fifteen other children’s books. Her books have sold more than two million copies and have been translated into six languages. Check out Marianne’s blog and follow her on Twitter (@M_Richmond21).

NY Times Bestselling Author Nicholas Sparks writes to delight our senses.

Photo by Mecandes

In his book, Safe Haven, he writes, “While pockets of mist rose from the ground, rolling clouds drifted past the moon, bringing light and shadow in equal measures.”

Two or three sentences later, Sparks appeals to our sense of hearing as he writes, “Her mother would sing to herself, melodies from childhood, some of them in Polish.”

Another favorite? “There was a time when she’d been as thin as a heated strand of blown glass.”

Three Tips for Improving your Multi-Sensory Writing

Many writers say they struggle most with appealing to one’s sense of smell, yet studies say our strongest memories are linked to specific scents.

The most beloved and engaging books are descriptive-rich, engaging all our senses as we move through the story.  As writers, we usually have our favorite sense, finding it easy to paint compelling visuals while potentially ignoring, for example, the kinesthetics among us.

To create a full, engaging experience for our readers, however, we must write to delight all five of the senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.  Neglect one or several senses and a story becomes flat, one-dimensional and sadly cast aside.

If you’d like to better write to all five senses, here are my three tips:

1.  Create a Resource List of Sensory-Rich Words

Spend some time brainstorming a list of descriptive words that you can refer to when needing inspiration. Continually add to your list, expanding your categories as they evolve.  Your list could look like this:

Sound Words:  drone, buzz, bark, rumble, rustle, gurgle, quiet as midnight

Touch (feeling) Words:  spongy, dizzying warmth, gritty, jagged

Romantic Words:  bewitching, enchanting, cherished

2.  Expand your Vocabulary

Seriously.  To make your writing more complex and interesting, we need to know more complex and interesting words.

Make it a point to look up words you don’t recognize.  Read other author’s works, writing down words and phrasing that speak to you.  Visit sites like this.  Make the thesaurus your good friend.  Download a “word of the day” app.  Buy a “new word a day” daily calendar.  Be creative in finding new words and use them daily.

3.  Be More Present to Your Life

We are consistently surrounded by rich sensory experiences—IF we take the time to notice them.  The first day of school after a lazy summer.  Camping under the midnight sky.  The sounds of a Little League ball game.  A visit to the one-building department store in rural Wisconsin.  The elderly woman inching her way across the street.

Become a keen observer and recorder of the sensory intricacies of life.  Make it a habit to jot down your observances in a journal.  Quick snippets like “her hair was the color of a butterscotch candy” or “elderly lady bent over like a comma” can jumpstart your creative thinking when you need it.

What tips do you have to write to all five senses?


Using the picture above as your jumping off point (or another imaginary scene of your choosing), choose one or two “senses” through which you wish to engage your reader.  Choose one that is usually difficult for or neglected by you.

Write for fifteen minutes, tapping your imagination for descriptive-rich writing that goes beyond the tiresome clichés! (i.e., his eyes were as blue as the sky!) Add your writing to the comments section and encourage others with your feedback.

Marianne Richmond

I'm Marianne Richmond—writer, artist and inspirationalist. My words have touched millions over the past two decades through my children's books and gift products.
Basically I put love into words and help you connect with the people + moments that matter. You can find me on my website, Facebook, and Twitter (@M_Richmond21).

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