Lesson Title: Stimulate your Senses: Exploring Imagery as a Critical Literary Element in Poetry.
Grade Level: 4
Subject: ELA
Time Frame: 60 minutes

Brief Description of Group: The fourth grade classroom is comprised of 25 students. There are 12 girls and 13 boys. Five students are on Individualized Education Programs, and eight students are English Language Learners.

Intended Learning Outcome: The goal of this lesson is for students to be able to understand the literary element of imagery. Students will be able to demonstrate how imagery aims to enhance the reader’s senses by creating and presenting poems of their own.

Common Core Learning Standard (s):
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4:Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7: Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions of a text.

Lesson Objective (s):
Content Objective:
  • Students will be able to define imagery and identify the five senses.
  • Students will be able to identify elements of imagery in the poem “Wonderful World”, by Eva Grant and other short poems.
  • Students will be able to create examples of imagery within their own poems surrounding the seasons and present them to the class.
Language Objective:
  • Students will be able to experience poetry as something entertaining to both read, speak, and write.
  • Students to gain confidence in themselves as writers and presenters of poetry by creating something unique and expressive on their own.

Core Vocabulary:
  • Imagery, 5 Senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hear), Visualize, Simile, Metaphor, Vivid Verbs, and Personification.

  • “Wonderful World” by Eva Grant, “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath, “September” by John Updike
  • Imagery / 5 Senses Anchor Chart
  • Graphic organizer handout – Sensory Images
  • Folders for each group – (lined scrap paper, reference poems, additional directions, envelope – items detailed below)
  • Posters at each station with visuals pertaining to that season
  • Blank Chart Paper
  • Markers

Connection (students seated on rug):
  • Activate Background Knowledge: “Yesterday we reviewed the importance of figurative language within poetry. We discussed how similes, metaphors, and personification help us to visualize two things that are being compared. Now I want us to take our knowledge about poetry and our visualization strategy one step further to explore elements of imagery”.
    • Teacher to introduce imagery lesson and reference the objectives for the day.
    • Teacher to read “Wonderful World” to class – model thinking, pausing at certain parts of the poem to point out important details.
  • Pre-Assessment: Teacher to ask students if they have ever used the visualization strategy to enhance their reading comprehension.

Teaching Phase (students stay on the rug)
  • “Authors include imagery within their stories to help readers stimulate their senses and create a more accurate picture in their minds. As we discussed, we know that this strategy helps readers to make a more personal connection with the text”.
    • Teacher to begin lesson and show imagery anchor chart.
    • Teacher to brainstorm sensory images surrounding a thunderstorm with whole class.
      • “Lets start off by brainstorming words or descriptions about a thunderstorm that will appeal to our five senses. Turn and talk to a partner and discuss”.
      • Teacher to use core vocabulary words to enhance instruction.
        • This will help to enhance the guided practice and model expectations.

Active Involvement (students to be seated at their desks, working in groups):
  • While still seated at their own desks, teacher to hand out graphic organizer to students. Students to brainstorm some vivid verbs or phrases that pertain to each season and that appeal to the five senses. *Remind students that the goal is to use words and phrases that stimulate our senses and help the reader paint a picture in their minds.
    • Teacher to pass out thunderstorm example handout.
    • Transition to guided practice part of the lesson. Explain to students that the will be working in 4 groups (reference groupings chart). *Remind students of content and objectives.

Guided Practice:
Procedure & Practice (students to be working in 4 pre-determined groups):
  • Poetry Stations:Students will work to create their own poems using elements of imagery.
    • Directions will be verbally read once to the class. In addition, each group will find written directions on an index card at each station.
      • Teacher to explain the roles and responsibilities of each group member. One scribe per group will be pre-determined.
      • Students will have 15 minutes to work at their assigned station.
  • Each group will receive a different colored folder (1 per group). Within the folder will be:
    • Lined scrap paper
    • Example poems for students to reference: “Thunderstorms” –Ms. J, “September” by John Updike, and “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath.
    • Envelope that contains some additional descriptive words and phrases about each season. *Encourage students to try and create poem on their own first, before referencing the envelope.
    • Groups have been pre-selected to incorporate students of mixed learning abilities.

  • Poetry Station Description:
    • Each group to create their own poems about a season (1 poem per each group). Students will be encouraged to create poems that appeal to the five senses and contain elements of imagery.
    • Students are to use their graphic organizers that they previously filled out to help them come up with creative verses.
    • Poems should contain: an example of alliteration, a simile or metaphor, an onomatopoeia, and 5 sensory descriptions.
    • At the end of this phase, each group will present their poem to the class. Students to be given time to write their poem on large chart paper.

  • Teachers to walk around the room assisting students who need additional help.
  • If need be, students will be provided with additional materials to stimulate their thinking (found within the envelopes of each folder), i.e.: word banks, vivid verbs, and descriptive phrases.
  • Visual posters will be placed at each station to help students make relevant, real-life connections.
  • Students will be able to visually see anchor chart throughout the entire lesson. In addition, lesson will incorporate auditory and visual components. If students finish early, they may read poems provided by the teacher.
  • Groups will be strategically selected to incorporate all levels of learning abilities. Struggling students will be matched with high-performers in each group.
  • Students will be challenged to incorporate other literary elements previously learned into their poems: similes, metaphors, onomatopoeias, etc.

Wrap Up:
  • Students to return to their desks after completion of group work. As a whole group, we will review our objectives for the day. By way of two thumbs up, students to raise their hands if they feel we met our objectives.
  • Students to state what they liked / did not like about today’s activity.
  • Time permitting – students to reflect on todays lesson as a whole and demonstrate knowledge of concepts learned.
    • If time does not permit – students to write their reflections on a large post-it note provided by the teacher.

Formative/Ongoing Assessment:
  • Teacher to formally assess students throughout the entire lesson. Formative assessments will continue throughout the duration of the poetry unit.
    • During the “guided practice” portion of the lesson, teacher to be walking around and assessing each student individually. Assessments will be by way of conversation and observation.
    • Students to self-assess by making sure that their poems appeal to the five-senses.
    • Teacher to assess student understanding based on the poems created.

Summative Assessment:
  • Students will be given a homework assignment that requires them to create another poem using elements of imagery surrounding a topic of their choice.
  • At the end of the unit, students will be tested on their knowledge of imagery.

Potential Challenges:
  • Certain students may struggle with working in groups.
  • Students may not want to stand in front of the class and present their work.
  • Students may not fully understand what is expected of them at the station.

Next Steps:
  • For our next lesson, we will be diving deeper and discussing the importance of similes and metaphors in literary works. Students will be able to build upon what they learned in this lesson to help them visualize how similes and metaphors can enhance the picture in readers’ minds as well.

Anchor charts and other resources:

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By: Ms. J

Streaks of gold light the sky,

as thunder echoes throughout the horizon.

The bolts are as bright as the morning sun,

which is hiding behind a sad, dark sky.

Rumbling, rolling, robust clouds ramble around like bowling balls,

as I wait patiently for the drips of rain to catch my tongue.

My mom yells, “run outside and close the umbrella!”

I am wet and my clothes are heavy, as the sweet and salty rain soaks me to the bone.

A musty odor seeps into the cracks,

as the rain continues to pelt heavy against the window.

BOOM, CRACK, FLASH – the lightening is closer,

My fear climbs to the tallest mountain.

As the beams of light crash, the house goes dark,

We wait in angst for the power to turn back on.

I can feel the earth trembling underneath my cold feet,

So I close my eyes, finding comfort in the warm embrace of my mother’s arms.

Wanting, wishing, and waiting for a rainbow,

I go to sleep, hoping the sun will join me for some buttery pancakes tomorrow.