Sensory Writing Over Time

Activity Steps:

In this activity you will investigate how your perspective on your bedroom/an imaginary room changes throughout the day depending upon the time of day, the quality of air or light, activity, and your mood.

1. Write:
Describe your bedroom at three different times of day: morning (as soon as you wake up), midday, and evening (right before you go to bed). You do not have to be in the same position in your room for each observation: you may be seated or standing and you should feel free to move around the space. Be sure to describe not only the physical elements in the room, but also more ephemeral things such as light, smells, and sounds. Your writing should provide the reader with a complete sense of what it feels like to be in the room at each time of day. You do not have to use separate pieces of paper for each description, but you should skip lines between each entry.
2. Peer Edit:
Bring all three entries to class. You will be assigned a peer editor. Read each other's work and provide constructive criticism. While reading one another's work, students should consider the following questions:
  1. Did the author write descriptively?
  2. Were you able to get a complete sense of what this room looks, sounds, and feels like?
  3. How could the author improve his or her writing and make it more vivid?
Get together with your peer editor and discuss the comments you made on each other's papers. Be sure to ask about anything you don't understand. This is your opportunity to get the most out of having an editor.
3. Rewrite:
Revise and rewrite your first draft. Pay careful attention to your editor's comments. You will be sharing your final drafts with the class.
4. Present:
Select one of your final entries to share with the class. After reading your piece, ask your fellow classmates to guess what time of day you have written about.
5. Reflect:
Respond to the following questions:
  1. How did your perception of your room change in the process of writing?
  2. Now that you have completed this activity, how do you think a three-dimensional space can be affected by time?
  3. Did anything you observed surprise you?
  4. Were your classmates able to get a clear sense of the time of day you were writing about?
6. Extend:
Create a series of photographs of your bedroom, each taken at a different time of day.