Sensory Garden Poetry

Published January 29, 2013 | Updated November 12, 2015
Subject: English, Science
Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Place of Learning: Garden, Academic Classroom
Resource Type: Lessons
Grade Level: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5
Uploaded by:
Kat Radune
Program Affiliations:

In this lesson students will explore garden objects using their five senses, write descriptive words or phrases about each object, and collaborate to make group list poems.


 Students will be able to:

  • Explore garden items using their five senses.
  • Describe each item using descriptive language.
  • Work with a group to sort and arrange all class members’ poetry into a list poem.

 Students will:

  • Observe garden objects and write descriptive words or phrases about them.
  • Work as a group to compile a list poem.
  • Share their compiled poems with the entire class.

Four stations, each with:

  • One tangible garden object (soil, carrot, lavender, kale leaf, etc.)
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Paper bag at each station
  • Gather materials and set up four stations.
  1.  Ask students to raise their hands if they consider themselves scientists? Poets? Explain that by the end of the lesson, all students will have gained some basic skills that will make them into scientists and poets.
  2. Discuss what it means to be a scientist on the most basic level (you must have observation skills). Discuss what it means to be a poet (you must be able to describe things, using descriptive language).
  3. Tell students they will all become scientists and poets today, exploring objects from the garden using their five senses and writing down descriptive words or phrases about each object. Review what the five senses are and how they can be used to explore objects.
  4. Explain to students that they will travel in groups, round robin style, to four different stations. At each station they will explore the object and think of a unique word, phrase, or simile (depending upon challenge level for class) to write down. Even though they are traveling in a group, each person is responsible for writing down their own observations.
  5. Discuss the difference between fact and opinion- the carrot could be observed as orange (fact), but could also be observed as the most lovely smelling thing in the world (opinion). Remind students that because this is both a Language Arts and Science activity, their observations will be both scientific and poetic, and therefore a mix of fact and opinion.
  6. Depending on the group, challenge students to write either one descriptive word, a phrase, or use a simile to describe the object. Tell students to place their papers in the bag before leaving the station.
  7. After all station rotations, assign each group the task of opening a bag and reading through all of their classmates’ poetry. Each group will be in charge of arranging one of the poems in the order they agree upon, including all class members’ contributions.
  8. Once poetry is arranged, have students either rewrite the poem, or glue the original papers onto a larger sheet (depending on time limitations and possible editing needs).
  9. Meet as a group and read poems aloud. Ask for feedback on the observation, writing, and collaboration process.


Great way to bring writing into the garden. I did this with my students focusing on soil. Lots of fun

2 years ago

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