Write the following headings on a piece of chart paper
What did you see?
What did you hear?
What did you smell?
What did you feel?
What did you taste?
Invite students to discuss a recent school event or field trip
Explain that they will be writing a report about this event
Present the Five Senses chart
Explain how good writers brainstorm ideas and interesting words before they start writing
Refer to each heading on the Five Senses chart
As students respond to each question record their ideas under each heading
Have students complete an individual Five Senses chart
Work with small groups or hold teacher-student conferences
Have students use their chart as they write a report about the chosen event
Invite students to share their reports during an “author’s chair”
English Language Learners/ESL:
- Prior to the whole class discussion review each of the five senses - Provide a visual cue for each of the five senses
LD/Reading & Writing Difficulties:
- Allow graphic organizer and report to be written using a typing program or speech-to-text software program - Scribe ideas for graphic organizer and report for student so that the student's ideas are the focus - Include a visual cue or symbol for each of the five senses on the class and individual graphic organizer
Cultural Appropriateness & Diversity:
- Refer to a school event in which all students are familiar
- Encourage varied responses during whole class discussion and brainstorming session - Allow students to write the report as either a written paragraph, small book or comic
Troia, G. A. & Graham, S. (2003). Effective writing instruction across the grades: What every educational consultant should know. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 14(1), 75-89.
The goal of Five Senses Graphic Organizer: A Planning Strategy for Descriptive Writing is to provide students with a strategy to organize and guide their writing by introducing a graphic organizer that encourages students to use their five senses.
What You Need
- Prepare Five Senses chart
- Teacher and students discuss recent event - Teacher presents Five Senses chart - Students brainstorm ideas for Five Senses chart - Students complete individual Five Senses chart and write a report on a recent event - Students share reports
Teacher: - Chart paper - Markers Students: - Lined paper - Pencils
What You Do
Direct instruction: - when introducing writing task and presents Five Senses chart Modeling: - while students brainstorm ideas for Five Senses chart and teacher completes chart Consultant: - while students complete individual chart and write report
Whole class: - during discussions, presentation of chart, brainstorming session and sharing Individual: - during report writing
- Use a checklist to track use of interesting words and details in their graphic organizer and report
- Use a rubric to assess students' ability to write a report
- Record anecdotal comments on students' report as a formative assessment
- Create a whole class book of the school event by including each student's report in the "big book"
- Have the students write a second draft of their report and allow them to choose to write their report as a small book, comic or written paragraph
- At the writing center have information for report writing available including the Five Senses chart and non-fiction texts
- Record the new and interesting words on a separate piece of chart paper with the heading "Expand Vocabulary"
- Before brainstorming ideas to include in the graphic organizer it is important for students to activate their schema. Encourage students to tell about the event in detail so that all of the students are able to participate fully.
- Post a new Five Senses chart up as an anchor chart in the classroom and continue to refer to it during writing workshops. Providing students with multiple opportunities to practice using a specific strategy or graphic organizer will help them become more familiar with using it during the writing process.
- Providing opportunities for students to write about meaningful events to which they are familiar and creates a real context for learning. Within a context for learning students are enthusiastic and motivated for writing.
- Provide proximity seating during whole class instruction for students who require cues for refocus