OBSERVATION WITH THE FIVE SENSES

 

Part 1: Touch, Smell

 

CONCEPTS:  observation, touch, smell

 

BACKGROUND: We learn about the world though different senses. 

With practice you can develop your senses.

 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: bags, boxes, miscellaneous objects, modeling clay,

small sealable containers (film canisters, baby food jars, zip-lock bags, etc.)

various distinctive smelling substances (spices, perfume, etc.)

 

 PREPARATION:

 

 TOUCH:  Prepare a series of bags or boxes that each contain one object with a

particular set of "feels": various balls, pieces of cloth,

sponge, candy, fruit, sand, foil, rocks, etc., etc., etc.

 

SMELL:  Add a small amount of the distinctively smelling substances to each

sealable container.  Make two or three containers for each substance.

 

ACTIVITIES:

 

1 -  TOUCH:  Allow the students to reach into the bag/box and feel the contents

without looking. 

Have them describe how the object feels (not guess what it is). 

Have them draw a picture of the contents.  See if other students can find which bag

contains the thing drawn by a student by feeling in each bag.  

 

2 -  TOUCH:  Have student use a piece of modeling clay to create a model

of something while blindfolded!  

Have other students guess what it is at the modeler works.  

Have blindfolded student try to identify models such as toy animals, etc.

 

3 -  SMELL: Pass the containers around for students to smell. 

Warn them not to inhale too hard! 

Have each student try to find the student(s) who have the same substance. 

Have them try to describe the smells.  (Not identify them).

 

CONNECTIONS: How you understand the world depends on which

senses are your best. 

 

 

Part 2: Hearing, Seeing color

 

CONCEPTS: observation, hearing, seeing, color

 

BACKGROUND:  We learn about the world though different senses. 

With practice you can develop your senses.

 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:  containers such as film canisters or sealable jars or cans

(must be opaque so students can't see contents). 

Materials to add to containers to make various sounds when shaken such as: sand,

marbles, water, beads, etc.  Bottles, cups, spoons, paper towels. 

Food color. 

 

PREPARATION: Add various things to containers to make sounds when shaken. 

Make two or three of each type. 

Add drops of food color to bottles of water to prepare colored water for mixing.

 

ACTIVITIES:

 

1 -  HEARING:  Make sounds from behind a barrier so that students cannot see the source. 

Have them describe the sound and try to guess what it was.  Allow students to do the same. 

Have students make up and put on a skit in which sounds play an important part.

 

2 -  HEARING:  Pass out the containers.  Have students find the student(s)

that have a similar container by listening to

the sound when shaken.  Have them try to describe, and imitate the sounds. 

 

3 -  SEEING COLOR:  Mix various amounts of colored water in a cup to get a new color or shade. 

Start with just two at a time. 

Allow students to mix the water to try to duplicate the color.

 

4 -  SEEING COLOR:  Prepare glasses or bottles of water with different colors. 

Start with just a few colors. 

Show students a sample of a color to be remembered. 

Then provide them with an array of choices to select from. 

See if they can remember the correct color.  Work up to similar shades. 

Try two or three colors to be remembered at a time. 

(Remember--some people cannot see certain colors).

 

CONNECTIONS: color blindness, deafness

 

 

Part 3: Observation games

 

 CONCEPTS: observation

 

BACKGROUND: Careful observation requires effort and is a skill that should be

developed as part of science teaching.

 

ACTIVITIES:

1 -  When the students are gone from the room, change something. 

Remove something, add something, change something's position. 

When students return, ask them what has changed. 

Changes can range from very obvious to subtle.

 

2 -  Have student pair up with each student facing their partner. 

Have them observe their partner carefully. 

Then have all turn around and change something that can be noticed

(eg. untie shoe, remove items of jewelry, etc. 

Then, when students turn around they must try to notice what their partner has changed.

 

3 -  Have various objects hidden from view.  Allow one student to see the item, and try

to describe it using just one adjective, or verb at a time. 

The class must guess what the object is.  The fewer word needed, the better. 

 

4 -  Provide a bowlful of peanuts in the shell (or other collection of very similar objects). 

Have each student select one. 

Tell them to observe it carefully, then return it to the bowl. 

Mix the peanuts up and then ask the students to find their peanut.  

Repeat the exercise, until they achieve some success.

Then, allow them to make notes about their peanut. 

Then have them switch notes and see if they can use someone else's notes to find that peanut. 

Repeating this procedure will aid in teaching students to record their observations carefully and clearly. 

You may want to provide rulers to add measurement to plain observation. 

 

CONNECTIONS:  Animals of a certain species may look all alike to us.