Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Who Knew The 5 Senses Could Be So Much Fun?

How to gets kids, Pre-K through 6th, thinking & using language skills!  

Integrates Common Core!

Sneak Peek:  Check out the "Scratch & Sniff" project, it's my favorite, & the FREEBIE.  

It doesn't matter which grade you teach, it's always good to begin the year with 
a mini unit on 
The Five Senses.
I start by reading this book.  Click the image for a link to purchase it.
Here are some fun hands-on activities that I did with my Kindergarten class.  You can modify up or down to meet the needs of your students, but I think that these activities will work from pre-K through 6th grade if you add a little more writing, research, or fun facts behind the science for each activity.

This is what we did:    You can find my "Sense-ational Adventure" book by clicking here.

Day 1 - Vision: 

 First I read a book about vision to the entire group.
I read one of these each day to go with
the sense we are learning about that day.

After our small group activity, I set these out for the
children to explore on their own at a center.
I drew the shape of each item before laminating the paper
so they can put everything back in its place.  
In a small group setting...

  • we looked at our pupils with a mirror.  You can take them outside to see how their pupils get smaller in the bright sunlight.  
  • we looked at the room with different colored glasses and rainbow glasses.  
  • we looked at each other's faces through a distortion lens (the large circular lens) and we looked at our fingernails through a magnifying glass to see our cuticles.  
  •  we looked through a lens that has mirrors inside and a hole at the side which allows you to view objects that are next to you instead of in front of you.  (It's the little hexagon shaped lens.)  
  • we looked at optical illusions on little cards that change pictures when you move them.  
(Upper grade students love books on optical illusions.  Have them research how the human eye works.)  This is also a great time to bring out any periscopes, telescopes, and kaleidoscopes that you might have.  

After we tried all of the vision activities, we finished the sentence:  I use my eyes to see.  The children drew their eyes, including their pupils.   They copied the word "eyes" from a pre-printed, lined card.  This will be page one in our 5 senses "Sensational Adventure" book.   

Day 2 - Hearing:  

First, I read a book about hearing to the entire group.
Then, we each got to come up and grab the spring on my "Thunder Tube" to make the vibration (and the sound) stop.  You can see it in action by clicking HERE.   And you can buy it here.  

In a small group setting, we tried out our "Listening Jars" which I made with old film canisters.


  • First, I wash them out very well with soap and water to wash away any chemicals.  
  • Then, I filled 2 jars with pennies, 2 with rice, 2 with dried beans, 2 with plastic beads, and 2 with salt. 
  • Next, I sealed them and secured the lids with tape.  (We don't want any spilling or peeking.)  
  • Last, be sure to label each one with a number and make yourself an answer key showing which 2 number pairs match up.  (Upper grade students can make their own listening jars for a lower grade buddy class.)

We had fun matching up the listening jars.  
The answer key is at the bottom of the basket.
I have an older version of this book that came with an audio tape.

Last, we met again as a whole group and listened to the tape and book called The Listening Walk.
Then, we lined up and very quietly went on a listening walk around the school.  Last, we illustrated and wrote about what we heard on our listening walk.
You can do this in a small group.  While students are
illustrating, you can ask each one what they heard so
you can write it on a lined Post-it for them to copy.


Day 3 - Smelling:   

First I read a book about the sense of smell.

Then, in a small group, we got to smell scented ink pads.  I have stamping ink pads and bottles of ink for re-inking the pads in scents such as pizza, pickles, cherry pie, pine tree, grape, etc.  

After sniffing each of the ink pads and trying to identify the scent, we wrote about things we like to smell like cookies baking in the oven and our mom's perfume.  As the students illustrated what they like to smell I asked each one what it was.  I wrote it on a lined Post-it for them to copy. 


These cost much less than scented ink pads.

These scented markers cost way less than scented ink pads.  (Upper grade students can conduct smelling and tasting experiments to see how these 2 senses work together.  With eyes closed, they should try to taste a slice of an apple while smelling an orange.)

Day 4 - Tasting:  (This is my favorite one.)  

 First, I read a book about tasting to the entire group.

Then, in a small group setting, I give each child a flat toothpick (they are a lot safer than the double pointed toothpicks) that has been dipped into a cut lemon so they can taste something sour.  
Then, each child may dip their wet toothpick into the other 3 tasting samples which are salt, unsweetened cocoa, and sugar.  (Upper grade students can try to determine which part of their tongue detects each taste.)

Each child gets a small square of waxed paper with the
tasting samples on them.


Tasting sour lemons.
I wish you could see her face!
Last, we wrote about things we like to taste.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Five-Senses-My-Sense-sational-Adventure-Student-Journal-860129Day 5 - Feeling:   

First I read a book about the sense of touch to the entire group.

Then, they took turns placing their hand into 5 different fabric bags to feel the object in each bag.  I placed one object in each bag; like a feather, a cotton ball, a piece of sand paper, a sponge, and a smooth rock.   As the students felt the objects I encouraged them to describe the object as hard, dry, smooth, bumpy, rough, scratchy, soft, etc. instead of trying to name the object.  After each child had a turn feeling what was in each bag, we tried to guess what the objects were.  (Upper grade students can create their own "feely bags" to share with others or a buddy class.

Then, we wrote about things we like to feel.  
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Five-Senses-My-Sense-sational-Adventure-Student-Journal-860129

Culminating Activities:

We culminated the week by making "Scratch & Sniff Name Cards" with Jell-o.
This is how we made them:  (Upper grade students can make these for lower grade buddies.)
You will need lined cards, white glue, a few flavors of Jell-o,
small cups, and spoons.
In a small group, while the students were coloring the cover of their Sensational Adventure books, I 
wrote each child's name with white glue on a lined card.  As I wrote each letter, I talked about the straight lines and the curved lines each letter had.  

Boomer is our class mascot.  :)

Then, the 1st child got to choose a flavor a Jell-o to sprinkle on the glue.  


Since the Jell-o doesn't always look like the color it will turn, I placed a piece of colored construction paper below each cup.  

After the student sprinkles the Jell-o, I turn the card 
over to reveal the brightly colored name.
Set them aside to dry over night.
When they are dry (the next day), I let the students come up to "Scratch & Sniff" their name.
They can FEEL it, SMELL it, HEAR it, and SEE it.  
We just don't taste it.  :)
I tape these to the door, low enough so they can Scratch & Sniff their name or their friend's name too.  
These are last year's names.
We left them up all year.  
You can also create a "Process Grid" by printing pictures of eyes, ears, noses, mouths, & hands as well as things you can see (like a computer monitor), hear (like an iPod), smell (like flowers), taste (like a spoon of soup), and feel (like a puppy).  Then, have the students place the cards on the chart.  They may work together to discuss the photos and where they should be placed.
My cards are laminated and attached with rolled masking tape.
I placed a square of masking tape on each square of the grid
before they attached the card so the rolled masking tape will
come off without tearing the grid.  

You can also have students make eyes, a nose, ears, a mouth,
and hands on a Play-doh mat with Play-doh.  
And last, we celebrate each color with a color day every Friday.  We dress in that color and taste something that is the color we are celebrating.  Here is our Blue Day photo.  We are holding up our organic blueberries.  We got to see them, smell them, taste them, listen to see if they made a sound as we ate them, and we felt them.  What fun!


You might like... 

*our  Color Day notes for parents in English & Spanish:
Click image for the link.
*our Color Packet of class books your students can write about each color:
Click image to
go to the link.
Sample page.
*our FREE Crayon Box Organizer to help your students keep their jumbo or regular size crayons organized in the 8-count boxes.
Free template comes in 2 sizes:  Jumbo or regular.
Things to Check Out:


That's it for now!
See you on October 4th!
Palma  :)

3 comments:

  1. So many great ideas for a unit about the 5 senses! I have to agree with you -- the scratch and sniff names are my favorite too!! :) Already pinned this, and I can't wait to try it out with my preschoolers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the FUN! :)

      Delete
  2. Teaching the scratch and sniff to my preschoolers. They're going to love it! Great ideas!

    ReplyDelete