Prior to the lesson, gather objects that are mainly perceived by one sense in particular e.g. a drawing or photo, a musical instrument, perfume on a card, a squeeze ball.
photos or drawings
perfume (sprayed on cards)
Ask the students to sit or lie on the floor and close their eyes. Allow them time to become still and silent. While the students are in this state, ask them to:
Listen to the sounds in and around the classroom and list in their mind what they hear.
Focus on their bodies and note what they can feel e.g. the carpet or floor, a breeze, their clothes.
Note any smells or tastes that they can perceive.
Finally, have the students slowly open their eyes. While still lying or sitting, and without turning their heads, ask them to mentally list all the things they can see.
Invite the students to share what they could hear, feel, smell, taste and see during the activity.
Discuss the five senses: see, hear, smell, taste, touch. Discuss which parts of the body help with each of the senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin).
Ask the class why humans have senses. What do they do? Field answers and lead the students to the statement that will be investigated: Different parts of our bodies give us different information about the world around us.
Explain to the students that each group will be provided with four different objects to investigate e.g. a drawing or photo, a musical instrument, perfume on a card, a squeeze ball. The teacher can decide if one object (or multiples of the same object) is explored at a time and then rotated through the groups, or whether the groups start with all objects at once. They must look at, listen to, smell and feel each object. (Note: Taste is not included for safety reasons.)
For each object, ask the students to note what they see, hear, smell and feel on the observation sheet (using one sheet per object). If there is nothing to note for a particular sense, the box should be left blank. Students then circle the sense that they believe gives the most information about the object. This can be tested by removing one sense at a time and seeing which one’s absence has the biggest effect.
Monitor and support the students as they complete the senses investigation.
Gather together as a class and invite the students to share their findings. Discuss which sense gave the most information for each object.
Refer back to the statement: Different parts of our bodies give us different information about the world around us. Discuss if the statement is true or false. Use the observations from the activity to support the conclusion.
Encourage more capable students to assist less confident peers during the group investigation.
Allow less confident students to be supported by more capable peers during the group investigation.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities