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Sensory Language Centers

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BC: As a bit of a disclaimer, this is an ever-evolving, ever-growing set of activities. As I learn and grow, so do the activities I present to my students! :)

FC: Ms. Henderson's Writing Class 2009 - 2010 | Sensory Description and Voice

1: Purpose | During our unit on sensory description and using voice to enhance writing, I decided that I wanted my students to get a chance to personalize their writing a bit beyond ownership in a desk with their imaginations dwindling. Thus, I put together a series of centers that would allow them hands-on ownership of the words they chose. From taste-testing to deductive reasoning, my kiddos had a blast thinking critically during this engaging lesson.

2: List of Centers: | 1. Voice in Action ~students would observe then discuss in their group various voices that might be associated with each provided painting. I brought several pieces from home, ranging from James Ensor to Van Gogh to Juarez Machado, for the students to use. After discussion, they produced a dialog that would match the scenery and mood of each painting.

3: 2. Cackle, What?! ~In this center, students used a previously compiled list of sensory description words to illustrate scenarios that would be applicable. The criteria for credit stated that they must use at least 5 words from each sense and the scenarios must speak for the word themselves. This worked out great! The scenarios I read for the word 'rancid' were hilarious! | 3. Bottle Sense ~This center remains popular every year. I give the students 6 bottles covered in black butcher paper and a 'cue words' list to help them brainstorm and identify smells. For each bottle, students had to correctly describe, not identify, each smell from the bottles. The substances were widely varied and completely random. The conversations/arguments trying to pinpoint the smells were hilarious.

4: 4. Sense me! ~For this center, I gave the students a list of random items and asked them to use each of the five senses to describe the item to their own connotative understanding. Surprisingly--and I'm not sure if it was just because they were all riled up from the days' activities or what, but--they found this 'sooo hard, Ms. H!' | 6. The Cooking Center ~Aptly named with not a smidge of creativity! The students got a chance to bake either smores or chocolate chip cookies. They logged notes as they worked, describing the process and reflecting on the ease and difficulty of working with their group members. Observation. Manipulation. Critical THinking. Oh, and of course, eating...

5: 6. Reflective Writing ~This particular center was set completely apart from the rest of the hub-bub in the hospitality room. I wanted the students to really sit and reflect on the whole point of these activities. They chose their own journal topics for this entry into their Writer's Notebooks and I made sure it was clear that they needed to focus on showing people their emotions, rather than telling them, using what we had been learning all unit with sensory description and voice. | Enjoy the pics of my 7th grade Writing class getting our learn on! :)

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  • By: janice h.
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  • Title: Sensory Language Centers
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago