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I Can "Sense" That we are in for a Sense-Ational Experi

Main Core Tie

Science - Kindergarten
Standard 4 Objective 2


Darlynn Menlove


Students will learn to distinguish between different things using their senses.



  • Look! Look! Look! By Tana Hoban, ISBN 0-590-42908-6
  • 5 Senses, by Tacey West, ISBN 0-590-13112-5
  • Look, Listen and Learn, by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko, ISBN 043904605x
  • My Five Senses, by Margaret Miller, Aladdin Paperbacks, ISBN 0-689-82009-7
  • What Joe Saw, by Anna Grossnickel Hines, ISBN 0-590-63740-1
  • My Five Senses, by Aliki, ISBN 0-440-84354-5
  • Your Five Senses, by Bobbi Katz, ISBN 0-590-66121-3
  • Look Inside Your Brain, by Heather Alexander, ISBN 0-448-40186
  • Your Five Senses, by Melvin and Gilda Berger, ISBN 0-439-56688-6


  • (CD) Jack Hartmann, Math In Motion
  • (CD) Dr Jean, Keep on Learning

Background for Teachers

Kindergarten students are eager to explore their world. Students will learn to distinguish between different things using their senses. This lesson will introduce the five senses and give literacy and exploration connections. An activity for each of the senses is included in the "Additional Activities" portion of this lesson.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn:

Launch (Introduction) (20 minutes)

  1. Ask this question: "Can anyone tell me what they think the five senses are?"
  2. List predictions on the board.
  3. Ask, "What do we use our five senses for?"
  4. Introduce the five senses by reading the poem A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein (pg. 134). Ask the following questions:
    • What senses are mentioned?
    • What are some problems with this poem?
    • Can an ear talk? Why or why not?
    • Can an eye or a nose hear? Why or why not?

Instructional Procedures:

Explore (Individual and Small Group Work): (5 minutes)

Students will explore the body parts that help us with the five senses. Given a blackline of Mr. Potato Head (see attached blackline). Students work in small groups at their tables.

Give the following scenarios, and the students will identify the part that you are referring to by placing an object on that part of the blackline.

  1. I can smell flowers
  2. I see a blue sky.
  3. I hear a train.
  4. I touch a soft blanket.
  5. I taste ice-cream
  6. Observe for misunderstanding and re-teach as necessary.

Discuss (Whole Group Discussion): (10 minutes)

Have a pocket chart with pictures representing the five senses from Mr. Potato Head (see attached blacklines). Hold up a picture card and have students sort the cards (see attached blacklines) to match the correct sense. Accept answers that cross-connect the senses.

Solidify (Closure): (5 minutes)

Have students return to their tables. They will each have a blackline of Mr. Potato Head and small items to place on the appropriate body part. Ask the questions, and students will respond by placing their small item on the body party that would be used.


I ate an old, squishy banana, and I didn't like it. What sense did I use?
A loud noise woke me in the night. What sense did I use? I love to snuggle when I read a story. What sense did I use?
The burnt popcorn stinks. What sense did I use?
The painting is very colorful. What sense did I use?

Practice (Review): (15 minutes)

Have students use writing notebooks to write a descriptive sentence on each sense to share with a partner.

Writing may include sentences such as, "Yesterday I saw a yellow daisy." Encourage students to include a descriptive word in each sentence.

Additional Lesson Activities:

Sound by Tape Recorder:

Introduce the sense of sound by asking the students to listen to a pre-recorded tape and identify sounds in their world. Sounds included on the tape might be the sound of a car honking, thunder, rain, a dog barking, a baby crying, an alarm clock going off, a piano, a school bell, and children laughing.

Play a sound, stop and record the students' guesses on the board.

Create Your Own "Gong Chime":

Have each student bring a wire clothes hanger from home. At school, cut string into one-foot lengths. (Each student will need two strings.) Students tie each string in a knot to the bottom portion of the hanger. The strings should be on the opposite sides at the bottom of the hanger. Have students hold onto the string so the hanger goes upside down and wrap the string around their pointer finger several times. With the string still on their pointer fingers, have students put their pointer finger into their ear. The students will then use their body to swing the hanger so that it hits a solid object (a table, a chair, a wall, a door, a cabinet, etc.)

This makes the sound vibrate through the string, and students will hear a unique "gong" noise.

You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover:

Students will sort four to five book covers by how they appeal to their sense of sight. After students have sorted, ask the following questions:

  1. What did you see first?
  2. What colors did you notice?
  3. What was your favorite part of this cover?
  4. Were there small parts you noticed, or did you just see the big parts?

Bubble Art:

For this activity you will need one 8_"x11" piece of white cardstock per student. You will also need one straw per student and several different colors of watered-down paint. Drop a small amount of paint on the paper. Each student will create his/her own painting by carefully blowing through the straw. This will move the paint and create "bubble art."

Name That Smell:

For this activity you will need scented markers. Cover up the bottom portion of the marker with painter's tape so students cannot identify the marker by sight. Students will smell the marker and color the matching picture (pdf). Discuss their favorite scent, and how some scents are similar to others.

Garbage Stinks:

For a literacy connection, students will go outside on a trash pick-up and collect a garbage sack full of trash. After discarding the trash, they will return and engage in an interactive writing activity on chart paper. They will list the trash items found on the school yard and describe the smell. Yuck!

Feely Box:

For this activity, you will need a box or sock with various items that are smooth, hard, soft, bumpy, sharp and cold. Students will take turns putting their hands into the box or sock and describing the object (without naming it) to the class. Record their describing words on a chart, and then display the list in the classroom to be used for a reference in writing.

Glurch Gloop:

For this activity, you will need a two-quart container of Elmer's Glue, a small amount of borax (this can be found in the laundry section of the grocery store), and food coloring. As you prepare the Glurch, students will have a copy of the recipe and they will read to you the ingredients and amounts needed as you mix it. Give each student a small amount of the Glurch, and let them explore with their sense of touch. Students will describe how it feels as they mold it into alphabet letters. As students describe it, record their descriptive word onto an alphabet chart, under the beginning sound of their descriptive word. For example: "squishy" would be recorded under "S."

Descriptive Guessing Game:

For this activity, you will need a sentence word strip sheet and a large piece of construction paper folded in half horizontally and taped at the seams. Present a descriptive scenario-for example: "I went out to eat last night, and tasted something crunchy and dipped into ranch dressing. What was I eating?" Write the answer to your scenario on the sentence word strip and slide it into the folded construction paper so students cannot see the answer. As students try to guess the answer, uncover the first letter. Students will then guess again, but their guess must have the same beginning sound as the uncovered letter. Continue until you have uncovered the word.

Taste and Write:

Students will explore their sense of taste by eating something sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. They will describe in writing which taste they preferred and why.


  • To challenge higher-level students, ask them to find out the parts of the brain that contain sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Ask them to identify the parts of the eye and the function of each. Ask them to identify the part of the tongue that tastes sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. They could research how the brain can quickly respond to our senses.
  • Struggling students may need to be re-taught and given extra help doing sense activities with a parent helper.

Family Connections:

Assignments to do with parents:

  • Ask students to explore their senses at home. When they help do chores, what sense are involved? What smells can they identify as Mom cooks? Have their Mom give them something they have never tasted and write down how it tasted and if they liked the taste.
  • Send home a literacy bag with a fun sense story to read with parents, and ask the students to write down an experience that used every sense. Explain each sense and what happened in a "sense notebook" to bring back to school and share.

Assessment Plan

  • Informal assessment will consist of observation of the students as they place the manipulatives on the body parts.
  • Formal assessment will be the student's writing.

Created: 04/24/2011
Updated: 02/05/2018