We’re teaching students in our Intermediate English class to write an Autobiographical Incident essay now. As part of that process, we’re learning about “sensory details.”
The lessons that we’ve been doing to teach this aspect of writing has been to have students go to the computer lab, write down words in a specific word group — today we did “feelings” words and yesterday we did adjectives (see The Best Sites For Gaining A Basic Understanding Of Adjectives) — they learn through using specific links we have on our class blog; then have them find synonyms by using Lexipedia (there are other similar sites, but they use color-coding to distinguish synonyms and antonyms — with Lexipedia you can completely eliminate antonyms by unchecking a box). Next, students put all the words they found into categories. Finally, we provide several simple sentences where they need to add sensory details. They need to expand the sentences by including words they’ve learned.
My colleague Katie Hull and I will describe this process more in depth in our forthcoming book on teaching writing to English Language Learners.
In the meantime, though, I thought readers might find the sites we used to teach “feelings” words useful.
Here are my choices for The Best Sites To Learn “Feelings” Words:
I’ve also updated the “Feelings” section of my student website, so you can find even more activities there.
Making Faces is a cool interactive that teaches “feeling” vocabulary by having users create models of faces reflecting those emotions. It can be a little tricky sometimes, but it also provides hints.
Express Yourself is a good game from The Museum of Natural History.
Emotions Of Sound is a neat interactive that plays different sounds, along with images. You’re then show several different “emotional” words and have to pick the one that the sound and image elicits from you. After each answer, results are shown for how many people have chosen each word. At the end of the all the questions, the site tells you, overall, how alike or different your responses were from others visiting the site.
Feedback and suggestions are welcome.