Narrative Writing – Sensory Language


Narrative Writing – Sensory Language introduces students to the concept of replacing words with ones that are more interesting. Students will learn the importance of using sensory language to improve their writing and better engage readers. They will discover how to use a thesaurus to find synonyms that they can use to substitute less descriptive words.

In the “Options for Lesson” section, there are a couple suggestions or alternatives for the lesson. You can have students work alone or in groups for the activity instead of having them work with partners. Additionally, you can show the YouTube video listed that describes how to use a thesaurus.

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What our Narrative Writing – Sensory Language lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Narrative Writing – Sensory Language teaches students about sensory words and how they enhance writing. Students will learn how to use these words and details to write better and engage readers. They will discover how important it is to use sensory language in narrative writing. Additionally, the lesson will describe how to use a thesaurus.

Two content pages outline the lesson material. The lesson begins with a short story that describes a teacher who makes writing fun for her students. The lesson displays a chart that contains sensory detail words that students could use to describe different senses. Examples include bleary, bitter, glossy, dazzling, squeal tarnished, and peppery. Students can see how these words do a better job at painting a picture than simple words like shiny or dull.

The lesson presents another short story to present the concept of using a thesaurus to replace common words with more descriptive ones. Students will practice using sensory words in place of less descriptive words through a couple exercises. They will easily recognize how this type of language makes writing more interesting and flavorful.


Students will work with a partner for the activity. The worksheet displays a table with six columns. Each column represents a different sense, except for the last column, which is emotion or feeling. Students will write as many words as they can for each column. Then they will look at the table on the next worksheet page. They will choose two words from each column and write them down. Finally, they will use a thesaurus and write as many synonyms as they can for the original words.


The practice worksheet will pull from the activity. Students will choose a sensory word from each column of their first activity page. Next they will write a sentence that includes those words. Then they write the same sentence but use a synonym to make it more interesting.


For the homework worksheet, students will test their ability to recognize the sense that corresponds to a word. There are two columns of sensory words. Students will write the sensory category that the word represents. The sensory categories are sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, and emotion.

Additional information


6th Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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