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A Teacher's Guide



Begin your study of Senses by Jinny Johnson with a discussion about what your students know about the senses. Questions can include:
    • What are some birds that you see near the school?
    • What do baby birds hatch from?
    • Where do birds build their homes?
    • How are birds different from other animals?
As the children give their answers, start creating a KWL chart to keep track of the many things they know and would like to know about senses. As the class reads the book, refer back to the KWL chart and add new things they learn.

Sample KWL Chart:

What we know about senses What we would like to learn about senses What we learned about senses
We use our senses to learn about the world around us.

How does my dog know I'm on my way home from school before I get there?

Many animals, including dogs, can smell other animals from very far away.

    Language Arts:
    • Generates questions about topics of interest
    • Uses a variety of sources to gather information
    • Makes contributions in class and group discussions
    • Relates new information to prior knowledge and experience

Highlighted vocabulary words are found at the bottom of the pages in the book. Additional words from the text that you should focus on are:

pathways (page 8)
skull (page 9)
retina (page 11)
vibrations (page 17)
scent (page 27)
irritates (page 27)
predators (page 28)
mate (page 30)
mixture (page 32)
nerve endings (page 36)

    Language Arts/Reading:
    • Uses word reference materials to determine the meaning and pronunciation of unknown words
    • Uses a variety of context clues to decode unknown words

Materials needed for each team of students:
• twenty to twenty-five blank index cards
• timer

Adjectives are used to describe the sensations of the various senses. For example, salty, sweet, and sour describe taste; cold, soft, and rough are used to express the sense of touch. Brainstorm with your class various words associated with the senses. Fill in the chart below with their responses.

Sample Chart:

Adjectives for the Senses
Sight Hearing Touch/Feel Taste Smell

Divide the class into teams of three students each. Have the teams write each word from the chart and its associated sense onto an index card so that they will have at least a twenty-card deck. Two teams play against each other. One member of a team picks a card, but doesn't show it to his/her teammates. The other two members have to guess what is on the card by the clues that he/she gives. For example, if the card reads: "Taste — salty" the clues could be things that are salty, such as pretzels or potato chips. The team has 30 seconds to guess the right answer. The score is the number of seconds it takes for the team to get the correct answer. The team with the lowest score is the winner.

    Cooperative Learning:
    • Works with others to produce a common goal

    Language Arts:
    • Understands descriptive language

Go back and review the chart on adjectives of the senses. Add nouns and verbs associated with the senses to the chart. Discuss the words with the children. Then have the children write poems using at least one word from each column.

Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives Associated with the Senses
Sight Hearing Touch/Feel Taste Smell
(Sample adjectives, see chart above)
eyes horn ice cookie flower
see listen pet sip sniff
(Have your students add more nouns and verbs)

    Language Arts:
    • Uses prewriting strategies to plan written work
    • Writes in a variety of forms or genres

The activity on pages 44 and 45 tests your students' abilities to identify food by its smell or by its taste while blindfolded. Try a third experiment to identify food by separating the sense of smell from the sense of taste.

Materials needed for each student:
• scarf
• nose clip
• five plastic cups
• milk, lemonade, apple juice, water, orange juice

Directions for the teacher:
• Divide the students into pairs. Each student will take the test while their partner records the results.
• Fill each cup with a small amount of each liquid.

Directions for students:
• Blindfold your partner with the scarf. Make sure that he/she is comfortable but cannot see.
• Carefully place the nose clip on your partner's nose. If you don't have a nose clip, pinch his/her nose so that he/she cannot smell. (Don't hurt your partner.)
• Have your partner take a sip of one of the drinks and guess what it is.
• Record the result.
• Repeat this for the four other drinks.
• Switch places and repeat the experiment with you as the tester and your partner as the recorder.
• Compare the results with the other teams and come up with a conclusion about taste and smell.

    • Knows that learning can come from careful observations and simple experiments
    • Keeps a notebook that describes observations made
Record Sheet

If the drink was correctly identified mark "Y" for yes. If the drink wasn't identified correctly mark "N" for no.

Taste Identification
Drink Student #1 Student #2
Orange juice    
Apple juice    

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