Sensory Details for Grade 4 | English | Learning Concepts
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Sensory Detail

Concept: What Can You See or Hear?

Why is Sensory Detail Important?

  1. Sensory details refer to the information mentioned in the text that can be experienced through senses.
  2. Sensory details allow the reader to experience objects which involve the senses like sight, touch, taste, and sound.
  3. The sense's description allows the reader to put himself or herself into a scene and feel like the character of the story.
  4. It causes the reader to, see, feel, hear, taste, to become connected to the story.
  5. Sensory details are mostly adjectives but they can take the form of adverbs and verbs too.
Mindmap_What Can You See or Hear

We have studied sensory words for touch. We will look into the other two types of sensory words which is sight and sound words.

  1. Sight Words
    1. The sensory details help the reader to experience what is happening in the story ‘to visualize’ it with their senses.
    2. Sound is a great sense to create a mood.
    3. Words related to the scene or sights that the author describes. The author could use words such as colour, size, shape, texture, etc.
    4. Sight Words
    Example_Sight Words
  2. Sound Words
    • Words related to hearing describe sound for example crashing and thumping.
    • Sensory words for hearing allow readers what’s happening.
    • Sound Words

    List of words used for visual and sound sensory words.

    Example of Visual words Example of Sound words
    Gigantic Buzz
    Teeny-tiny Humming
    Bulky Squeaky
    Glitter Serene
    Sparkling Sizzle
    Shimmering Hiss
    Shiny Shriek
    Glowing Snappy
    Crooked Boom
    Hazy Thundering
    Shadowy Roaring
    Gloomy Crunchy

Let’s Practice:

When reading a passage always mark the words that give you details about your senses.

Read the passage and observe the coloured sensory words.

Sensory words

One day, I went with my mother to the station and saw many people walking on the platform. I caught my mother’s hand tightly as she walked towards the ticket counter. We waited in the long queue for our tickets. In front of us, a lady stood with her child who was crying loudly. Everyone stared at the child and gave disapproving looks his way. My mother offered him a chocolate from her bag. The child took it and sniffed through his tears. He soon stopped crying and smiled at my mother. She in turn smiled at him.

After a few minutes, we got our tickets and were headed towards the station. We were going to board the train. I was so excited! This was going to be my first time travelling by train. Once we were at the station we heard the train’s honk before we saw it slow down to a halt. We got into the train, the handle dangling over our heads like shining little halos and the seats were light blue in colour. I enjoyed my journey on the train. I got to see many people at the station.

Common Mistake:

Overuse of many sound or sight words may confuse the reader or listener. In the example below, the words ‘ screech’ and ‘squealed’ makes it difficult to imagine the sound made by the bus’s tire. Hence it is better to use only one word instead of too many words.


  • The bus suddenly screeched to a halt. We also heard the loud honk.
  • The bus suddenly screeched, squealed to a halt. We also heard the loud honk.
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