Using Imagery

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Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process

Grade 5- 8


Students will learn to use imagery to create pictures in a reader's mind.


Reproduce one Just Imagine work sheet for each student in the class. Gather together the crayons or colored pencils for student use.
Lesson Plan

  1. Write the following on the chalkboard: Show, don't tell.
  2. Tell students that they are going to play a new game, not Show and Tell as they know it, but "Show, Don't Tell."
  3. Write the following sentences on the chalkboard:
    • The baseball player argued with the umpire.
    • The ace pitcher hurled his glove at the mound, then spit words at the man behind the plate.
  4. Ask students to identify which sentence tells what happened and which sentence shows what happened. (The second sentence is the better sentence--it shows what happened.)
  5. Explain that writers use precise words to paint pictures in the reader's mind. This is how authors show the reader what is happening. It is much more exciting and interesting for the reader to be able to "see" in their mind what the author is writing about.
  6. Challenge pairs of students to turn the following sentences into showing sentences:
    • The basement floor was flooded.
    • The toddler was angry.
    • The cars crashed.
    • I ate the chocolate doughnut.
    • The painting was an antique.
  7. Allow students to share their showing sentences. Ask the class to point out specific words that helped paint a picture in their minds.
  8. Distribute the Just Imagine work sheet. Review the directions with students. Read the poem "Mabel" aloud as students underline precise words. Allow time for students to complete the rest of the work sheet and share their original "Mabel" poems.


  • Just Imagine work sheet (see the activity sheet link below)
  • crayons or colored pencils

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