Megan Bakan: Writing through the Senses

What is one of the more difficult tasks for adult basic education students? Often it is writing.  They (and we) have difficulty thinking of topics and developing them into interesting and detailed compositions.  In order to write we must have something to say.  Sometimes we get writer’s block.  How can we help our students get past this block?  One way is to help them access their knowledge and memories through their senses. If we can access information and memories then we have something to say and something to write about.

How do we gather information about the world?  We gather information through our senses.  We store this information, our memories, through our senses too. We have six basic senses:

1. Vision – seeing
2. Auditory – hearing
3. Gustatory – taste
4. Olfactory – smell
5. Tactile – the texture of how something feels (a bumpy rock versus a smooth rock)
6. Kinesthetic – muscle memory for tasks (how to dial a phone number on a rotary versus cell phone)

The activities, which can be found by clicking the “get it now” button, are adapted from a presentation given by Kathy St. John. Each of them provides the participant with an opportunity to tap into their senses before they begin writing.  Our senses are a valuable storehouse of knowledge; they can breathe life into our writing. Have fun!

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