ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Creating a Feast for the Senses With Mentor Texts
|Grades||3 – 6|
|Lesson Plan Type||Minilesson|
|Estimated Time||Two 60-minute sessions|
Saint Joseph, Missouri
- Learn to recognize examples of sensory writing in published texts
- Create their own sensory writing by using published texts as a model
- Practice revision in student texts not their own and then apply that process to their own writing
- Show students Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey (or another book you have selected). Tell students that you are going to read them a book you love that contains high-quality writing. Tell students that even though this book has great illustrations, after you read each set of pages you want them to pay attention to the pictures they have in their heads or anything they hear or feel in their imaginations before you show them the book’s pictures. As you read, pause after each set of pages to hear student responses before showing the illustrations. Read through the entire book. Allow students to briefly give their initial reactions to the story before going on.
- Tell students that you are now going to reread the book and that they are going to investigate the book with you for examples of words and phrases that help us as readers to visualize and create sensory images. If necessary, define and review with students what sensory images are.
- As you read through each set of pages, stop and ask students if there were any examples of words or phrases that helped them to see, smell, taste, hear, or feel the action. Write student contributions on large chart paper for an anchor chart or model writing on an overhead copy of the Write Like… Handout.
- After you have reread the book (or at least several pages) and have collected several examples of sensory writing, tell students that they are going to have the opportunity to investigate more books for examples of sensory writing.
- Pass out a picture book to each student or pair of students along with the Write Like… Handout (see Mentor Texts for Sensory Images for text ideas). As students are working, circulate to make sure they are able to identify appropriate examples of sensory writing. Check that students are able to identify examples of sensory writing beyond just sight and that they are quoting these examples accurately on their papers.
- For students who are struggling, ask them to find examples by one sense at a time. You might suggest that students read the entire book looking for examples of sensory writing that involve sight, and then if they are successful with that, you can lead them in rereading for another sense.
- Allow students to share books that they read and samples of sensory writing they found. Add samples to the anchor chart created for Dogzilla.
- At this point, you can continue to allow students to explore books, filling out a new Write Like… Handout for each new book, regardless of whether or not they are looking at a new author.
- Begin by reviewing the sensory writing from the previous session and reading the collected examples of sensory writing from the class anchor chart, and pass out photocopies of student writing obtained from Writing Scored Student Work–Grade 4.
- Tell students that they are going to add sensory writing to these student drafts. (Working with someone else’s writing is a risk-free way to allow the students to practice with creating sensory images.) Allow students to work in pairs or by themselves.
- Allow students to share examples of how and where they added the sensory writing.
- Tell students that now they will be looking at their own drafts to revise for sensory writing.
- Make sure students again have access to pictures books and their Write Like… Handout from the day before to use as resources.
- Hand out and go over the Revising for Sensory Images Rubric. Explain to students that this is what you will use to evaluate their work. If you would like, you can give students the My Revising for Sensory Images Checklist so that they have a written guide of what is expected and can evaluate their own work before turning it in.
- Once students have finished their revisions, allow students to share examples of how and where they added sensory writing to their own drafts.
- As students continue to collect examples of sensory writing in other writing sessions or in reading, allow them to write their examples on the class anchor chart(s).
- When students are able to find certain authors whose books they enjoy using for mentor texts, they can begin to investigate author websites to learn more about the author, the author’s other books, and the author’s writing process. The Mentor Texts for Sensory Images handout also includes website information.
- Use the ReadWriteThink Printing Press to publish the examples of sensory writing that students find in texts as well as examples of sensory writing from their own work. The flyer templates will work for collections of sensory writing. Students might use the booklet template to create a collection of sensory writing.
- Use either the ReadWriteThink Flip Book or Stapleless Book to publish the examples of sensory writing that students find in texts as well as examples of sensory writing from their own work.
- Collect and assess the Write Like… Handout that students used to record examples of sensory writing from published texts. Make sure students are choosing quality examples of sensory writing and are using the handout correctly.
- Collect and assess student drafts and final copies after revising for sensory writing to compare before and after.
- Assessment can also be done formally using the Revising for Sensory Images Rubric to evaluate student’s own writing after revision. The My Revising for Sensory Images Checklist can also be used by students as they work. Teachers can assign point values to either of these handouts if desired.