Teach Your Students to Write a Fun and Creative Imagery Poem Using Their Five Senses

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Here is an excellent exercise to get used to using imagery in your creative writing.

Imagery evokes an emotional response from the reader through descriptive language, and it appeals to one or more of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste or smell. Hopefully the imagery will evoke more than one sense at a time.

Choose a photograph or a picture that depicts a scene of some sort. In my classes, I use a photograph of a straw hut on a beach. You can use any sort of picture you wish but scenes work the best.

Stare at the picture for awhile. Just let yourself enter the scene and stay there for a few moments.

Put yourself into the picture. Imagine that you are in the picture. You are looking around and you are experiencing everything that is happening in the picture.

Ask yourself these questions: What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What can I touch? What can I taste? Taste is often a hard one for some people to imagine but if you think about being on a beach, can’t you taste the salt in the air?

Write on a piece of paper all of the senses you are experiencing. Write it out in narrative or poetic form, using as many adjectives as you can think of to describe the experience.

Try not to use vague adjectives: Don’t just write “red,” describe the red. Walk all around your scene. In the hut on the beach scene, I ask my students what is behind the hut? What is inside the hut?

After listing everything they can think of, the students are asked to fill in the following blanks:

I see __________________________.

I hear _________________________.

I smell _________________________.

I taste _________________________.

I feel __________________________.

Then I have them remove the template words (I see, I hear, etc.) and the finished poem looks like this:

 Dry straw hut

Palm fronds scraping

Salt air from the sea

Coconut milk on my tongue

Peaceful and warm


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