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.”

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

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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.

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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?