Sensory Language Lesson Plan

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Use this lesson plan to teach students about the use of sensory language. Students will find sensory language in passages of literature, and will also generate their own sensory language through games and writing exercises.

Lesson Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define and identify sensory language.
  • give examples of sensory language.
  • write using sensory language.


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.


Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Sensory language
  • Five senses


  • Access to the Sensory Language: Definition & Examples video lesson
  • Copies of the lesson quiz, one per student
  • Variety of children's books containing examples of sensory language
  • Index cards containing simple sentences with no sensory language (for example, Greg ate a taco.)
  • Spinner displaying the five senses (see preparation instructions in Sensory Language Improv activity below)
  • Selection of travel brochures


  • Ask students to name as many senses as they can think of. After students have shared their ideas, clarify that the five senses you will be discussing are sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feel.
  • Hold a class discussion on how the five senses could be related to reading and writing.
  • Show the beginning of the Sensory Language: Definition & Examples video lesson, pausing at 0:52.
  • Ask students if the pizza example was effective, then have them brainstorm food-related sensory language that they have recently heard. Consider sources like television, radio, billboards, and books.
  • Resume the video and play to the end.
  • Review the five senses one at a time, calling on students to recall an example of sensory language from the video lesson or to suggest a phrase of their own.
  • Discuss:
    • What is the value of using sensory language in your writing?
    • Think of your favorite books. Do you recall any sensory language in those books?
    • When might it be appropriate to limit your use of sensory language?
  • Give students the lesson quiz to check for understanding. Be sure to provide extra guidance as needed.


Sensory Language Search

  • Divide students into pairs or small groups, giving each one two children's books (no two groups should have the same books).
  • Students should go through the books and identify their three favorite examples of sensory language.
  • When all groups have finished, students will take turns sharing their examples of sensory language with the class. Students must also identify which senses are being described in each example.

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