Imagery with “The Pretzel Activity”

Today we talked about how we can imagery in our writing. In particular, we talked about ways that we can appeal to our five senses — sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.

Each group of students was given a handful of pretzels. For our first sense (sight), students spent a minute and a half silently reflecting on the appearance of their pretzel, and writing down their observations.

Responses included: “It is curved like a snake.”  “It is the color of sunburned skin.”  “It gleams like gold, with a crystal formation.”


We repeated our observations with the remaining four senses — sound, smell, touch, and most importantly — taste!


An excerpt from our class paragraph: “It makes a crunchy, swishing sound when rubbed together. It’s crunchy like fall leaves when shaken. A buttery scent like kettle corn, the sharp blade of salt. The salt melts on your tongue, and the bread becomes mush as you chew. It tastes like a burning fire with lots of smoke.”


The Giver by Lois Lowry: Utopia projects

In the 5th and 6th grades, we read The Giver by Lois Lowry. This book centered around the coming of age of Jonas, a young boy living in a fictional dystopian society.

In Jonas’s world, color does not exist, along with books, emotions, memories, pain, and the freedom of choice.


To further analyze the themes of utopia and dystopia, students created their own utopian societies. They were asked to reflect on various aspects of their imaginary society — its monetary system, government, family structure, etc. — and consider what factors make a society a utopia.

As a class, we discussed:

  • What are some potential problems with your society?
  • Is your society a utopia for everyone?
  • Is it truly possible for a utopian society to exist?