How to Write a Sensory Poem on Fall
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A sensory poem about fall describes all that the season encompasses through the five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Often created as an elementary class assignment, the poems can also be found as published works. Sensory poems create a descriptive mind picture of an object or event, because the words echo the reader's own sensory experiences of that object or event. Because they are not tied to a specific type of poetic rhyme or form, beginning poets may find sensory poems extremely easy and effective writing.
9 Tips in Writing a Sensory Fall Poem
1. Choose a Type of Poetry
Choose a type or style of poetry based upon your assignment requirements or reason for writing. Traditional types of poetry include:
- free verse
- ...and an extensive list of others.
Decide what type of rhyme, meter and verse, if any, your poem will use.
2. Organize the Flow of Your Poem
Organize the flow of your poem. You might decide to describe fall through each of the five senses separately, in different lines or verses. As an alternative, different verses might describe a fall object, event, word or theme through all five of the senses.
3. Brainstorm Fall Words, Themes, and Objects
Brainstorm a list of fall words, themes, events and objects. Use this list when you begin to form sensory word and phrase ideas for your fall poem. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, look at pictures of fall events and occasions to help you create your brainstorm list.
4. Create a Verse or List of Fall Tastes
Create a verse or list of words to include in your poem regarding the tastes of fall. Think of words to describe the taste of fall apples, warm pumpkin pies, Halloween candy, spiced cider or oatmeal on a cold morning. If you are creating a rhyming poem, begin to think of words that might rhyme with these words and fit in with the flow of your poem.
5. Create a Verse or List of Fall Smells
Create a verse or list for words describing the smells of fall. Don't forget to include words that you might rhyme with them as well (if you are creating a rhyming poem). Describe the smell of fireplaces burning, spiced cider simmering, hot chocolate sitting warm in a cup or fresh cookies baking; any kind of smell that reminds you of Fall will fit nicely into this list. Use a thesaurus to find unusual substitutions for common words, such as "delicious."
6. Create a Verse or List of Fall Sounds
Create a verse or list of words that a describe what you might hear in fall. Find unique words to describe the way these things sound. For example, write about the crack, hiss and pop of dried wood as the flames eat away at the log in the fireplace. You might also describe the crunching of dried leaves and the sound of wind in the trees as you walk outside on a fall day.
7. Describe the Feel of Fall Events or Objects
Describe the feel of fall events and objects. You might make a list describing the feeling of cool morning air, warm fuzzy jackets and soft fleece blankets. Write a verse or line to describe the feeling of hot, steamy cocoa against cold hands after being outside.
8. Describe the Sights of Fall
Find words to describe the sights of fall in a verse or line. Write about the bold red, orange, yellow and brown colors of fall leaves against a bright, blue fall sky. Alternatively, write about the smiles and costumes of children at your door for Halloween trick or treating.
9. Create Your Fall Sensory Poem
Using your prewriting work of lists, words, rhymes and phrases, create your sensory poem about fall. Remember that a poem need not rhyme, but usually has some sort of organization or rhythm. Use the word lists, phrases or verses you have created to paint a poetry word picture of all that you see, hear, touch, taste and smell in fall.
A sensory poem is successful when the reader feels as though they are transported into the poem; if you read your poem back and can almost hear, see, smell, feel, and taste the fall season, you've written a solid sensory poem.
Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."