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1st Grade - Act. 13: Five Senses Walk Around the School

Main Core Tie

Science - 1st Grade
Standard 1 Objective 1


Utah LessonPlans


Students will take a five senses walk around the school and observe and record what they see, hear, smell, and feel.


  • What in the World pictures (found on the back page of National Geographic World magazines).
  • Field Trip Kit: (reusable bag with handles containing a clip board, paper, pencil, colored pencils, magnifying glass, measuring tape, small plastic baggies, unwrapped crayons.
  • camera for teacher

Additional Resources

Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang. Seasonal topics using math to solve riddles.
Math in the Bath (and other fun places, too) by Sara Atherlay. Fun story that gives examples of math in everyday life-dinnertime, social studies, music, family, nature, etc.
What’s a Pair? What’s a Dozen? by Stephen R. Swinburne. Book shows examples of number-related words found in nature using photographs of everyday things.
One Crow, A Counting Rhyme by Jim Aylesworth. Counting rhyme that moves through the seasons from summer to winter.
Reading Rainbow videos: “Once There Was a Tree” (life cycle of trees), “And Still the Turtle Watched” (ecology and eagles), “Is This a House for Hermit Crab?” (animal homes), “Raccoons and Ripe Corn” (animal tracks), “Summer” (seasons).

Background for Teachers

The class will go on a discovery walk around the outside of the school, observing the building (walls, windows, doors, parking, etc.) playground (equipment, plants, wildlife, ground covering) and what surrounds the school grounds. The gathered information will be used to produce a class book that tells about their school using descriptive words and phrases.

If necessary, review concepts of repeating patterns, and the five senses (touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste--although we will not use taste for this activity). Practice using the senses to observe things in the classroom. Practice using crayons to do texture rubbings of things found in the classroom. Acquaint student with contents of the "Field Trip Kit." Establish guidelines for using the kit.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude.
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors
4. Develop physical skills and personal hygiene.

Process Skills
Observation, data collection, description, investigation, classification, form conclusions

Instructional Procedures


Invitation to Learn
Share "What in the World" pictures with the class. (These are colored pictures of everyday objects photographed in a distorted way: close-up or very far away). Give them time to try to guess what they are looking at. Introduce the concept of taking pictures with the camera held very close or very far away.

Instructional Procedure

  1. Tell the students that you are going to tell them about a special place. Ask them to listen carefully and guess what you are describing (your old school). Use general terms. Say things like "It has lots of rooms, big windows, some trees, a place to play, and a place for cars to park." Ask the class if they have a mental picture of the place you are describing. Let them guess.
  2. Ask, "What might help you see a better 'mind picture'? Would more describing words help?" Tell them they are going to write a book about their school. Before they can do that they will have to discover some interesting things about their school.
  3. Explain that they will first take a five senses walk around the school to observe and record what they see, hear, smell, and feel.
  4. Distribute a "Field Trip Kit" to each student.
  5. Walk around the school, stopping frequently to discuss what they are observing.

During the walk each student will:

  • Record details of things they see, hear, smell, and touch. (Students can use pictures or words.)
  • Count and record how many doors, windows, toys, signs, etc.
  • Do rubbings of textures (walls, cement, tree bark, etc.)
  • Use a magnifying glass to get a close-up look at things (leaves, bugs, seeds, grass, and brick)
  • Notice and record any repeating patterns they see.
  • Lay on the grass with closed eyes to listen and smell.

Teacher will:

  • Take close-up pictures of interesting textures, patterns, and shapes to use for a class set of "What in the World?" mystery pictures.
  • Go back to class to process information.
  • Label chart or board with words: smell, touch, see, and hear.
  • Sort and list information gathered by the students. (If possible, let students record their own information in the appropriate column.)

** Over the next few days, use this information to write a class book about your school. Use grade-appropriate prewriting and writing skills. Illustrate and publish the book and share with the school (give to the library for students to check out.)


Possible Extensions/Adaptations

  • Gather leaves and seeds to sort.
  • Take a walk during each season to note changes in plants, weather, and animals.
  • Adopt a tree to study for the entire school year.
  • Identify plants and animals found on the school grounds.
  • Divide the class into small groups (3-4). Provide each group with a “World” magazine to look at. (Or use the pictures from your class walking trip). Give groups five minutes to guess what they see on the “What in the World” page. Share answers. Discuss what skills they used to solve the mystery pictures. Guide talk to observation skills, such as being able to learn about something in more than one way. Review using the five senses to make observations.
  • Tour the school and make a map showing school helpers, bathrooms, classrooms, lunchroom, etc.

Family Connections
As a homework assignment, students could take a five senses walk around their home or community with their family. They could write a book about their observations to share with the class.

Assessment Plan

Direct observation of students as they record what they see, hear, smell, and touch on the walk will tell you if they understand the concept of the five senses. The completed class book will also give you an authentic piece to assess for class understanding of the process skills used in this activity.

Created: 08/08/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018