Our Five Senses

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Our Five Senses

Fresh cookies help awaken the senses as students learn that the senses play an important role in our lives—they help to make our lives happier and more enjoyable and also serve to protect and warn us about danger. The children explore how the senses enable us to collect information about the varied sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes that form our environment. They also learn about the sense organs connected with every sense.

Learn that our sense of touch can help protect us and make our lives more enjoyable.

  1. Students will understand that the five senses help people to explore the world around them.
  2. Students will know about the five senses, and also be able to explain how they work.
    1. The sense of hearing allows people to collect sound and make judgments about what is going on around them. Sound occurs when vibrations travel in waves through the air. Once the waves are collected in the ear, they vibrate the eardrum, bones and liquid present inside the ear; these vibrations send impulses to the brain, which hears them as sound.
    2. The sense of vision allows people to observe movement, color, distance, and the size and shape of objects. The eyes are responsible for the sense of sight. When light bounces off an object, an eye will collect the light and turn the image into a series of impulses, which tell the brain about the image that is being seen.
    3. The sense of touch allows people to explore the texture, pressure, and temperature of the various objects in their environment. The skin, which is the largest sensory area on the body, has many nerve sensors which inform the brain about what is being felt.
    4. The sense of smell allows people to gain information about their environment that they cannot hear or see; the smell of smoke, for example, will inform a person that there is a fire, even if he or she cannot actually see the fire. Odors travel through the air and reach the nose, where the olfactory organs are located. The olfactory organs then send the brain information about the odors present in the area.
    5. The sense of taste helps people to enjoy life. The tongue and the nose are both responsible for identifying flavors. The tongue has many tiny nodules on it called taste buds, which classify flavors as sweet, sour, salty, or bitter.
  3. Students will realize that the ears, eyes, skin, and even the taste buds are susceptible to damage. Therefore, it is important to protect the body parts from anything damaging.
  4. Students will understand that some people have senses that are impaired; therefore, they must find other ways to learn about their environment. For example, people who are visually impaired read by feeling small raised dots, called Braille.

  1. Before viewing the video

    1. Play "I Spy" in the classroom. Have one student describe some object in the room. The other students must use their sense of sight to discover what the object is. Watch the video to learn about other important senses.
  2. After viewing the video

    1. Sight: Have each student look around the room and pick out an object. Have them describe three things about its appearance, then shut their eyes. Can they still see it? Have a student come in front of the room. Look at him/her for a minute. Have the student hide. How many characteristics the students' eyes told them about him/her.
    2. Sound: Have two minutes of silence in the classroom. Listen for all sounds. Older students can list sounds that they hear. Describe what the sense of sound or hearing told each student. Listen for sounds on the way home from school.
    3. Smell: Think of how the following things smell: a smoky fire, perfume, popcorn, and dirt. What sensations do these smells incite? Smell five things at home and tell the class the next day what the five things are. The sense of smell is important.
    4. Taste: Have each student tell the class his/her favorite taste. What do the students hate to eat because of taste? What feeling does one get from biting into a lemon? Tell the students to surprise their parents by tasting something new.
    5. Touch: Have the students touch five things at their desks. Really feel them. How do they feel? Describe the different touch feelings to the class.

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