Sense You Asked! Writing Workshop Lesson


A Cooperative Group Writing Workshop Lesson


  • chart paper
  • photos of a recent study trip
  • markers

Lesson Plan:

This cooperative group writing workshop activity is best when completed after a study trip or a “being there” experience(i.e. to the zoo). A lesson on developing students descriptive writing using the 5 senses.

  1. Group the students in sets of 4 – 5.
  2. Pass out photos of things the class saw or did on the study trip.
  3. As a whole group, brainstorm list of things that were saw or done on the trip. Teacher or student records on board.
  4. Assign each group a sense and instruct students to list all the words/phrases they can think of that come to mind from the study trip associated with that sense. (Example: Sight-slimy green water, fierce alligators, indian village, long snakes) Taste was not used in ours, so I assigned Sight to two groups.
  5. When each group is finished, have the presenter of the group share with the class. Post all sense charts from each group on the board.
  6. Ask the class if there is anything missing.
  7. As a whole group, decide on 3 – 4 topic sentences that might make a great beginning to describe the study trip.
  8. Assign class to write a one page narrative description of the class study trip. You may want to instruct them to use a certain number of words/phrases off the list if you feel it is necessary.
  9. You will be amazed at how your students writing is more vivid and detailed after this successful writing lesson.


Hi, I am Janet Stephenson. I teach 4th grade in Merritt Island Florida. I love teaching writing and inspiring reluctant writers to bring their ideas to life on paper.

By: Janet Stephenson, 4th Grade Teacher

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