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Art & Writing...A lesson inspired by "Micawber" by John Lithgow

A Writing and Art Project from WritingFix
Writing Project: A Sensory Color Poem Art Project: A Color & Contrast Painting

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The Writing Lesson:
Colorful Sensory Poems

This writing and art project was written by Northern Nevada teacher Amy Howe during the NNWP's inservice class on Art & Writing Projects. Amy is a fifth grade teacher in Northern Nevada.

This page contains the writing portion of this two-part lesson. Click here to view the accompanying art lesson plan.

by Lindsay, fifth grade

Saffron is the taste of sour lemons on a hot day.

Saffron is the smell of daffodils in the spring.

Saffron is the feel of a golden retriever puppy.

Saffron is the sound of a baby chick chirping.

Saffron is the sight of the shining sun.

by Jose, fifth grade

Copper is the taste of a chocolate cake during a party.

Copper is the smell of a mighty oak in the summer.

Copper is the feel of a smooth desk at school.

Copper is the sound of a dog’s annoying bark.

Copper is the sight of the Earth beneath our feet.

Amy's Lesson Overview:

This lesson allows students to explore color – both in literal and figurative terms. Students will read books about color, discuss the emotion involved with color, and incorporate color metaphors to write poems.

Writing Lesson Materials:

Writing Lesson Instructions:

  • Have a discussion about “warm” and “cool” colors. Be sure the students understand the difference and where they are in the color spectrum. Talk about instances when you see “warm” and “cool” colors and emotions that are often associated with each.
  • Read the book Micawber to the students. Discuss the wonderful vocabulary of the book – pointing out the great word choice for color words.
  • Read the book I Love You the Purplest. Discuss how the mother in the book was able to describe her feelings using blue and red. Talk about how blue is a cool color and what the mother associates with it and how red is a warm color and what the mother associates with it.
  • Brainstorm a list of unusual color words. Put up on chart paper.
  • Remind students what a metaphor is. Give some examples. Tell the students that they are going to be writing a poem using metaphors with colors and the five senses. Give them the graphic organizer to start brainstorming ideas.
  • Have the students pick one color to write their poem about. Have them fill in the outline, making sure that they aren’t making literal sentences, but that they are using figurative language to complete the outline.
  • Tell the students to write a poem about their color using the graphic organizer as a guide. Your struggling writers can easily copy what they have on the outline exactly, and you can encourage your stronger writers to create a more freeform poem. See samples above and below.
  • Final poems should accompany the students final art projects.

We're Seeking Student Poetry Samples:

Teachers: Other than fifth grade, we're looking for student poetry samples for this lesson that we can feature here. Do you have a revised and edited sample to share? Take a photo of the final product, and/or send attachments to us at Please write "Colorful Sensory Poems/Paintings" in your e-mail's subject line. If we publish your sample here, we will send you a complimentary copy of one of the NNWP's Print Publications for your classroom.

Students can strictly follow the pattern...
...or they can creatively stray from it...

by Jake, fifth grader

Crimson is the taste of juicy strawberries on my tongue.

Crimson is the smell of roses in the springtime.

Crimson is the feel of velvet slipping through my fingers.

Crimson is the sound of a crackling fire on a silent night.

Crimson is the sight of the setting sun on the darkest of nights.

By Jake

by Alexis, fifth grader

Sapphire is the color of magic

You go deep inside the color and you can’t come out

You are hypnotized in its color of sadness

But you feel nothing.

No sadness

No sorrow




The world is lost

In its magic

All is gone, dissolved into nothing

In a sea of nothingness

You are lost from reality

Until you realize

It’s only magic

Sapphire magic.

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