Adjectives & Senses

How to use the senses in your description

Our Program

One effective way to introduce young writers to adjectives is by asking them to use their senses either during a physical experience or by putting themselves in the shoes of a fictional character. Adjectives to describe the senses are easier for new children to understand because they are taught the five senses from a young age. Let’s get started!

Adjectives that can come from each of the senses

You may be wondering what types of adjectives your child writer should be coming up with when they use each of their senses to describe something. Here is an idea of what types of descriptions will result from your child using each of their senses:

1. Sight

By using their sight sense, your child writer should come up with adjectives that describe the appearance of their surroundings. This may include shape, size, position etc.

2. Smell

When using their sense of smell, your child should come up with adjectives that describe how their surroundings smell. This may include how strong or weak the smell is, an analogy of what it smells like, and overall adjectives they see fit to describe the smell.

3. Taste

If your child is in an instance where they are describing something they taste, they will describe it by comparing it to the tastes or textures of other things. Children often use simple adjectives to describe taste preferences, and it can be comparable to how they describe the smell of something.

4. Touch/Feel

When using their sense of touch, your child will come up with adjectives that describe how something feels to them. This may include textures, feelings, or abstract concepts.

5. Hear

When using their sense of hearing, your child will come up with adjectives to describe the sounds they hear around them. This may include describing the sounds of movement, background noise, voices, etc.

Here is an example from the Night Zookeeper story books of writing that uses the senses to describe:

Will Rivers the Night Zookeeper, together with Riya and Sam the Spying Giraffe, passed through the magical portal. Seconds before, they had said goodbye to the other giraffes and the lush coolness of the Whispering Woods. Now the three friends were standing in the fierce heat of the Fire Desert. Will felt his feet sinking into the fine sand.

He could feel the warmth of it through his shoes. Sweat was already beading on his forehead.

“Wow, it’s like stepping into an oven,” remarked Riya.

Activity & Resource

Now that you know what to expect when your child uses their senses to describe something, have them try out the activity we have prepared. This activity asks the child to use their senses to describe the surroundings of a fictional character, which will engage their imagination as well. Good luck!

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