Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sensory Poetry (and a NEW Pack to GIVEAWAY!)

Oh, the 5 senses....(you hear 2nd grade teachers sigh...)

That was me a few weeks ago while planning this unit.  The 5 senses...really?? in 2nd grade?!?  siiiigh.....
Now, however, this is me:
"OH! The FABULOUS 5 senses!!!"

Yes, can you hear the change in tone?  (It's hokey, I know...but you can play along, right?)  Well my change in attitude is because I have had SO much fun with our new sensory poetry unit!

In the past, I feel like my kiddos have been robots:
Teacher: "Here's a haiku poem.  Now you copy, but do your own."

Teacher: "Here's a diamante poem. Now you copy, but do your own."

Teacher: "Here's a cinquain poem.  Now you copy, but do your own."

...And so on and so forth.  Do you get my drift?  I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!  And PLEASE don't think that I dislike teaching poetry, because honestly I LOVE all the different forms.  I do sometimes feel, though, that my students' voices get lost because they are simply trying to follow the format or fit a rhyme.

SO, our LOVELY, TALENTED, and WONDERFUL instructional specialist mentioned doing a 5 senses poem.  (and this is where the first line of this post comes in...with a big sigh...)

BUT, after much explanation and tweaking throughout the past 2 weeks while I've been teaching and my kiddos have been writing, our poetry has turned out spectacular!!!

We began our unit by simply reviewing each of the senses (bubble maps, lists, pictures, etc.).  Our class spent a little more time than planned on this, because we got hung up on placing "sense" words with the correct sense.  For example, the students would say "Peanut butter tastes sticky." (even though sticky is a touch/feel word). 

We also got hung up on not being specific enough...I got this one alot, for example, "It smells like food."  *ARG* I will admit the first few days were rough!  Once we got the hang of it, though, we were on a roll!

So after the first several days of reviewing senses and sensory words (great mini-lesson tie in to adjectives by the way!), we began prewriting and brainstorming ideas for our own sensory poems.  We picked SPECIFIC topics to make our writing easier!  Our class did one about gumballs together. (And for the life of me, I can't believe I didn't snap pictures of this to show you!  I may come back and add them tomorrow!)

Then, the kiddos went out and brainstormed on their own.  The next day, we "sorted" our brainstorming...making sure we had at least 3 words or phrases for each sense.  We wrote them out in our draft books.  Here are a few examples of our works in progress from last week:

Monday, students edited their own "poems" with this checklist:

And Tuesday, we peer edited with this checklist (almost identical):

TODAY, I dropped a surprise on my students when I showed them this:

YES, we actually crossed out (or scribbled out...or scratched out until it was non-existant....I'm sure you have some of these kids, too...) our sentence starters!!!  It was so much fun to see how descriptive our poems were even without the "I see..." and such.  We even played a little game to see if friends could guess eachother's topics.

Tomorrow we will publish with a sheet that looks like this:

There will be no "title", BUT I will hang them with an envelope off to the side.  Inside the envelope will be a notecard that the student has written his/her title on!  So passers-by can read and "play along" in the hallway!

So as I said, after much tweaking and experimenting, this Sensory Poetry unit has been alot of fun!  So much so that I gathered everything (including the things above), spruced it up, added a little more (yes, LOTS more!), and made it into a pack for TpT.  Here's a little preview, and you can also view it at my store.  It will be on "introductory sale" until Saturday, so be sure to check it out (once TpT gets back up and running with product postings!  You can always just follow my store to get an email when I DO post it ;) haha!)  I promise your kiddos will love it!

**I completely forgot about my Teacher's Notebook account!  So, if your heart is set on looking at it or downloading it now, you can visit my Teacher's Notebook store!

**GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!  The first follower to comment with a 5 senses poem (I see, I smell, I taste, I hear, and I feel...three words or phrases for each, but cross out all the sentences starters!!!) will earn themselves THIS WHOLE PACK FOR FREE!!!!  Be sure to comment below with your fun poem (it can be about ANYTHING) and leave your email address so I can send you this pack!  I may even give out more than one, depending on how creative you get!  So get to writing!!! Oh, and thanks for playing along with me! :)

As a last note, I hope everyone is having a good week.  I know we had a scary day in North Texas yesterday with many tornadoes.  I'm so lucky and thankful that there were no fatalities, and even though we had to go into "lockdown" mode at school, I'm so appreciative to all my students who were AMAZING when it was "game time".  Even though it was scary, we made it through with no damage and very little stress!  It really made me think about what all I have!  I love my job, my students, my family, and even my new blogging life/friends (and all I've learned through TpT, too!). 

Have a great Thursday tomorrow!  I'm sure for a lot of us, it's technically our "Friday", since we don't have school on Good Friday! (WOO-HOO!) :) 


  1. Clouds, trees, and rain.
    Veggies, taco soup, and cleaner.
    Tv , my computer hum, and my cat's purr.
    Fruit, a smoothie, and mint.
    Blanket, computer, and fur.

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  2. That was such a quick response!!!

    I love the "cat's purr" by the way, because I always have a kitty sitting next to me while I'm on the computer :)

    The pack is on its way.

    For everyone else, I don't know if I'm just feeling extra generous and maybe yesterday has just made me more appreciative, BUT I'm still willing to give out one or two more, for any other amazing poets out there! :)

  3. It is really early! LOL

    Kids, crayons, books
    fresh cut grass, laundry, perfume
    hotdogs, popcorn, eggs
    laughing, TV, snoring
    cold, happy, tired

  4. Poetry on a Saturday. I'll give it a try. :-)

    Puppies, Bones, Toys
    Bacon, Dog Breath, Rain
    Cookies, Bacon, Eggs
    Music, Raindrops, Thunder
    Happy, Content, Relaxed

    First Grade Delight

    1. Love your poetry on a Saturday!

      I've already given away 2 packs here, BUT no one has guessed my topic from my Thursday scroll on over to that one, and earn yourself the free pack! (I promise it's easy to figure out the topic...I'm kind of surprised no one has commented yet!)

      Thanks for playing along and making your brain work on a Saturday!!!

      Just Tinkerin' Around