Snack Time!

Open up a new Google Doc and title it “Imagery.”

Then, go to the kitchen and grab yourself a drink or a snack.  No, really. Do it.  It’s okay.  Tell your mom it’s for school. =) Don’t tell me what it is, though.  I want to guess!

In your Google Doc, write down single words (adjectives) that describe whatever it is you are eating or drinking. Hold on to this. We’ll come right back to it.

Perhaps you noticed that the word imagery has the word “image” in it.  We know that an image is a picture.  Authors use imagery to create a picture in the reader’s mind by using words that appeal to one or more of our five senses (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste).  Have you ever been reading a book and suddenly had a picture or a scene play in your mind? Have you ever read a book that was turned in to a movie, but the characters looked way different (or exactly the same!) as the picture in your head? When authors use imagery, it helps the audience as a whole create a similar image in their minds.

Imagery is a device that does more than just create a picture in our minds.  It also helps readers stay interested in what’s going on or what’s being described.  For each sentence, answer the questions below regarding the picture you see in your head.  Then, decide which sentence is more interesting.

a)      He heard the ice cream man and wanted some. 

a.       Is the he a boy or a man?

b.      How badly did he want ice cream?

c.       What kind of ice cream did he want?

d.      Which of your five senses did the words in this sentence appeal to?

b)      As soon as Jason heard the ice cream van singing its sweet music around the corner, he could instantly taste the cold, velvety, chocolaty goodness of a Fudgesicle, which made him begin to salivate. He raced to his daddy in the living room, begging and pleading for that one dollar that could bring him face to face with the only thing he really wanted on such a hot, summery day.

a.       Is Jason a boy or a man? How do you know?

b.      How badly did he want ice cream? How do you know?

c.       What kind of ice cream did he want?

d.      Which of your five senses did the words in this sentence appeal to?

e.      Are you hungry yet? =)

When authors use descriptive language, we as readers can have a better understanding of what is happening in a story.

Look at the words you wrote down at the top of your Google Doc.  Will I be able to tell what you ate or drank based on your descriptions, or do you think you can add more? Make sure that you appeal to all of the five senses.  You want me to be drooling by the time I get to the bottom of your list! Next to each word, tell me which of the five senses it appeals to.


Read the following passage from Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick. In your Google Doc, write down every word that Sonnenblick uses to create imagery.  Next to it, write down the sense that it appeals to.  What picture has Sonnenblick created in your mind?

                “The plan had a certain elegant simplicity, too.  I would drink one more pint of Dad’s old vodka, grab Mom’s spare car keys, jump into the Dodge, and fire that sucker up.  Then I would speed through the deserted, moonlit streets, straight and true as a homing missile, or at least straight and true as a sober person who actually knew how to drive. When I skidded triumphantly into Dad’s driveway, I would leap nimbly from the car, race to the front door, ring the bell with a fury rarely encountered by any bell, anywhere – and catch my father with the no-good home-wrecking wench who was once, in a forgotten life we used to have, my third-grade teacher (3-4).”