Imagery Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 What Is Imagery?
  • 0:39 What Does Imagery Look Like?
  • 2:20 Writing Imagery
  • 3:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

If you want a reader to really connect with your writing, you might want to add imagery. Check out this lesson to learn about imagery, how to spot it in a text, and how to use it in your own pieces.

What Is Imagery?

Have you ever felt like you were in an actual novel? Your may have heard your teacher tell you to 'make a movie in your mind' as you read, but have you imagined actually being there with the characters? If you answered yes to either, it is likely that the author used imagery to hook you!

Imagery is when a writer uses very descriptive language, sometimes figurative language (like similes, metaphors, and personification) to appeal to all of your senses. When imagery is written well, the reader can see, hear, taste, touch, and feel the text.

What Does Imagery Look Like?

In the novel, Holes, Louis Sachar writes about the experiences of Stanley Yelnats at Camp Green Lake, a camp for bad boys. Let's look at three examples of imagery from this book:

1. Camp Green Lake is set on what used to be the largest lake in Texas, but it is now dried up. Think about what sense the writer is trying to appeal to in the excerpt:

  • ''The only trees are two old oaks on the eastern edge of the ''lake.'' A hammock is stretched between the two trees, and a log cabin stands behind that.''

Did you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch that description of the lake? That description was meant to make you 'see' Camp Green Lake. Could you picture it?

2. This next excerpt starts to talk about how Stanley ended up at the camp. Try to guess which sense you are supposed to use when reading it:

  • ''He was on a long bus ride to nowhere. The bus wasn't air-conditioned, and the hot, heavy air was almost as stifling as the handcuffs.''

Which sense did you use? It's likely that you used your sense of touch when you read that piece. Couldn't you just feel how uncomfortable it was on the bus?

3. In this example, the narrator is discussing how Stanley's family has always had bad luck. When Stanley's great-grandfather moved to California in a stage coach packed with all of his money, it was robbed by an outlaw:

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