SCIENCE UNIT: The Five Senses Grade Level: First
Lesson 1: What sense is in the poem?
Lesson 2: Tongue Teaser
Lesson 3: My Hands: What I can do with them and how important they are.
Lesson 4: Making Rainbows
Designed and taught by: Jennifer John and Deanna Kay
Date: December 7, 1999
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM MILIEU 1-2
TEACHING/ LEARNING STLYE 2-3
UNIT AIMS AND GOALS 4-5
LESSON 1: WHAT SENSE IS IN THE POEM? 6-11
LESSON 2: TONGUE TEASER 11-13
LESSON 3: MY HANDS: WHAT I CAN DO WITH THEM AND 13-15
HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE.
LESSON 4: MAKING RAINBOWS 15-16
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES 17
School and Classroom Milieu
This unit will be taught at Van Sciver Elementary School. The school is located in
Haddon Township, Camden County. Van Sciver has a total of 366 students, ranging from
preschool to sixth grade. The school has two preschool classes. However, one is called
SKIP, this is for preschool students who are handicapped
Haddon Township is a suburban community with approximately 14,840 people
residing in it. (National Resource Directories, Inc.) This community is not a very diverse
community as the majority of the population consists of Caucasian people. According to
the National Resource Directories, there are approximately 14,552 Caucasians, 160 African
Americans, 162 Hispanics, 85 Asians, 20 American Indians, and 14 people of a different
origin. Due to the lack of diversity with in the community, one can assume that these
children will be entering the classroom with very little knowledge of other cultures.
The per capita income in Haddon Township, according to source, is $18,400. The
average family income is $36,215. The majority of people are considered middle to upper-
middle income families while there are some who fall into the lower income socio-
economic class level. Of the people who reside in Haddon Township, approximately 7,312
people who are employed, the majority of which work in the administrative, professional,
and managerial fields. There are approximately 4,034 individuals who work in the county
of Camden. 1,257 individuals work outside of the county and 2,021 individuals work
outside of the state of New Jersey (National Resource Directories, Inc.).
In this particular first grade classroom there are seventeen students, seven girls and
ten boys. This classroom does not contain much diversity because every student is of the
Caucasian race. The students academic abilities range from high to low, most students
falling in the average category. There are two students who have special needs, one has
trouble with speech and the other has ADD. These students receive as much extra help as
possible so that they can keep up with the class. As well, students will be placed in groups
at different times, and these children will be placed with others who can help them out.
This has the students involved in cooperative learning which is important because they
learn how to work with others and how to help others when they are in need.
As one can see this school as well as the classroom does not have as much diversity
as one might find at another school. To deal with more diversity, a teacher must be fully
aware of how to provide the best environment for that student as well as the others in the
class. This means that the teacher needs to be educated on how to maintain a learning
environment that suits the needs of a wide range of students. If this is achieved then
successful learning will be accomplished!
Teaching/Learning Style Utilized
The learning style in which the students engaged in mostly was the hands-on
investigation. Throughout the lessons, the students had to physically work on a task.
When students perform hands-on activities, they are better able to retain the information
because they are actually performing the task rather than just sitting there listening to the
teacher explain the lesson.
Using hands-on investigations is very important for many reasons. It provides the
students with an environment in which they are learning as well as participating in the
learning process. Also, the students usually pay better attention when they are physically
engaged in the learning process. Therefore, the students will comprehend more because
they are actively involved.
To create an effective learning environment, there are many factors to take into
consideration. First, the teacher must create a classroom environment that is conducive to
the theme of the unit, for instance, the unit in this case is on the five senses. The classroom
environment should be enriched with materials regarding the five senses so that the
students are visually stimulated. Second, the students must feel comfortable in asking
questions that they may have. Therefore, the teacher must make clear to the students that
no question is a stupid question and that the students are free to ask whatever questions
they may have. Finally, the classroom itself must be comfortable for the students. For
instance the temperature within the classroom must be so that the students are not too hot
or too cold. Proper lighting is also essential so that the students are not straining their eyes
to see clearly.
There are many good instructional methods that a teacher can use in his/her
teaching strategies. However, for this unit, hands- on learning was emphasized because the
students were able to participate in the activity, pay attention better, and lastly, retain the
information that was learned.
Unit Identification and Goals
1. Content: the five senses, understanding the various body parts that go with each sense.
Skills: learning how to communicate one’s thoughts with another person, working
cooperatively in groups, following directions, being conscious of one’s actions.
Attitude: appreciation of our body parts and how lucky we are to have them,
appreciation for those who are less fortunate.
2. The state curricular goals that relate to this unit are: 5.1, 5.2, 5.6, 5.7, and 5.8.
5.1- The students are able to realize that our senses are essential to performing
everyday actions. For example, with our eyes we are able to see, with our hands
we are able to touch, etc. This shows that students can recognize that with these
body parts they can perform everyday functions.
5.2- Students were able to state a hypothesis regarding the outcome of an
experiment before conducting the experiment.
5.6- The students are able to see that their bodies are composed of different parts and
each part serves a different purpose. These parts work together to help us
function with all our senses.
5.7- The students will be able to recognize that some people are not as fortunate as
others in that they can not use one or more of their senses.
5.8- In the “touch and feel” game, students were able to describe the texture of
certain objects and sort the objects according to their texture.
3. It is important that lessons incorporate underlying themes others than the stated theme
of the lesson. One underlying theme that relates to this unit is the appreciation of
science. Students were able to appreciate their body parts which is a very important
aspect of science. Another unifying theme that relates to this unit is the appreciation of
others who are less fortunate.
Topic: What sense is in the poem?
Curriculum Reference: Time for Poetry, All sorts of People.
Generalization: We have five senses that help us function everyday.
Facts: 1. We use our nose so that we can smell.
2. We use are ears so that we can hear.
3. We use our eyes so that we can see.
4. We use our hands so that we can feel.
5. We use our mouth so that we can taste.
Concepts: 1. Smell
Lesson Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to distinguish between
their five senses and know what body part each sense correlates to
Students will be able to describe the senses (Comprehension).
Anticipatory Set: The teacher will have the students sit down in front of the senses
bulletin board. The teacher will introduce the bulletin board and show
the students how to interact with the bulletin board. The teacher will
show the students how to take the cheese out of the pocket which has a
sense written on it and correlate it with the mouse on the bulletin board
that is showing that particular sense. After the has done that he/she will
ask volunteers to come up to the bulletin board to place the proper
sense with the mouse.
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the word senses to the students and to
express that we have five senses and that different body parts are used for each
Materials: colored construction paper
patterns of mice
pictures of each sense
Things to do: 1. Introduce bulletin board to the students
2. Discuss bulletin board, going over all five senses.
3. Call on volunteers to express what sense goes with each body part by
placing the cheese under the correct mouse.
4. Have the students go back to their seats.
5. The teacher will pass out the poem about the senses to the students.
6. The teacher will read the poem to the students while the students follow
7. The teacher will go through the poem line by line and ask the students
to identify the sense and body part by highlighting it in their poem.
8. The teacher will pass out the envelopes and pictures of the five senses
to each student.
9. The teacher will have the students cut out the five senses pictures and
place them on their desks.
10. The teacher will read a poem from Time for Poetry.
11. After reading the poem the teacher will ask the students to identify what
sense was expressed in that poem by holding up their sense picture.
12. The teacher will have the students reason their answers.
Things to ask: The teacher will ask the students what sense is being discussed and how
they arrived at their answer.
Closure: The teacher will ask the students for volunteers to explain what they learned
from the lesson. Then the teacher will give the students a homework
assignment that will reiterate and have them practice what was discussed in
class that day.
This lesson went very well. The students were very active in the learning process
rather than just sitting there watching me teach. The lesson began at the hands-on bulletin
board where volunteers were chosen to match the right sense to the mouse that was
pointing to that sense on his own body. I noticed that the students really enjoyed this
because they love to volunteer to help out. The next part of the lesson dealt with the
students having to highlight the sense and the body part that was said in a poem. They
liked using the highlighter. Then they had to cut out the different body part (ex. ear, nose,
etc.). Different poems that stressed certain senses were read to them and at the end of the
reading, the students had to raise the cut out body part that they felt the poem was about. If
they were wrong, they were to discuss the answer with their neighbor. The students were
involved and kept busy during the learning process, therefore they did not get bored. This I
feel is what made the lesson a success.
There were not really any problems during the lesson. The students did raise the
wrong body part to one of the poems. I asked them if they were absolutely sure and when
they said that they were, I told them that I was going to read the poem again and that I
wanted them to listen very carefully. When I read it again, I read it very slowly and the
students picked up on the hints and then raised the right body part.
I learned that the children like to volunteer and that they will do anything to be
picked. For instance, when at the bulletin board, I told them I was looking for volunteers
and that I was going to chose the student who was sitting the nicest. Well, I never saw so
many children sitting on the floor right next to each other and being very quiet with their
hands folded. I also learned that they really enjoy being actively involved rather than just
sitting there. They get bored real easy and very fidgety when they sit for too long. By
keeping them active, I eliminated any of this.
As for myself, I learned that I really can do this. I really enjoyed standing in the
front of the classroom. Teaching is something that I have wanted to do for so long that I
can't believe it is finally here. The only thing that I need to remember when I am up there
is that I need to stop being so polite, odd as that may seem. I have a tendency to ask the
children if they are ready to do something rather than telling them we are going to do
something. My cooperating teacher picked up on that. By asking them to do something
leaves the door open for them to respond with a no and this will lose their attention because
they will think they are being funny. It is just in my nature, but I guess with more practice,
I will learn to not do this. I really enjoyed teaching this lesson.
Reflection on lesson by Jennifer John
The lesson objectives for lesson two were: By the end of the lesson, students will
be able to distinguish between their five senses and know what body part each sense
correlates to (Analysis). Students will be able to describe the senses (Comprehension).
The stated objectives was met because we made sure we addressed all the key terms
throughout the lesson. Then we would periodically ask students questions to reiterate as
well as to see if they learned the information. If we found that they were unsure then we
went over the information once again.
The evidence we have that shows that our objectives were met, was by observation
and by discussing the information with the students. We found that going over and
explaining the information, as well as showing the students where the body parts are
located, was a big help for the student’s understanding. Then having the students reiterate
what they learned by explaining it, showed that they understood the terms and have met our
I feel our lesson went quite well. We practiced before we taught the lesson to make
sure we kept in mind all the important points we wanted them to know. We made sure we
were aware of our objectives so that we could focus our attention on what we wanted the
students to learn and make sure they learned that information. We were fully aware that
our objectives were met because we discussed the information thoroughly with the students
and had the students participate and practice the information.
One change I would make when teaching this lesson again is to not have the
students have a copy of the poem in front of them while I was teaching. I found that first
graders could not handle having the poem in front of them and read along as I read. I think
that the next time I teach this lesson I might use a transparency and read while the students
follow along. I think that third graders could have handled following along with a poem in
front of them but definitely not first graders.
I think our teaching compared to our elementary education program in the fact that
it was hands-on oriented. Our elementary education program emphasizes using hands-on
approaches to teaching. I also feel teaching our lesson had us engaged in reflexive decision
making. We had to constantly be reflexive when teaching this lesson because things
happen that do not always go according to the plan.
From all my experiences teaching different lessons, I have learned quite a bit about
teaching. I have learned that a teacher has to be prepared and know the lesson before
teaching it. The teacher must practice the lesson to make sure he/she does not forget any
key points. Practicing the lesson before hand also helps the teacher smooth over any things
that might go wrong. For example, when I taught my math lesson in the field I forgot to
make sure all the students had their numbers cards. Our practicum teacher told me they
had them but I should have made sure they all had them before hand. In result, some
students were missing cards and cards had to be made for them before we started the
lesson. So the lesson that should have only taken fifteen minutes took about a half an hour.
So I have learned that a teacher must prepare and be a reflexive decision-maker because
things will not always go the way they are planned.
Topic: Tongue Teaser
Curriculum Reference: Teacher Created Materials, 1990.
Generalization: Our two senses, smell and taste, work together just like the partners did
to complete this experiments.
Facts: 1. By holding our nose, we cut off the flow of air leading to our smelling
sensors, which help the taste buds realize what they are tasting.
2. Our smelling senses are called olfactory receptors.
Concepts: 1. Sensors
2. Taste buds
3. Olfactory receptors
Lesson Objectives: By the end of this lesson, the students will be able to discuss their
original hypothesis’s regarding the experiment they just conducted
and whether or not their hypothesis was correct (Synthesis).
The students will be able to locate where taste buds are located
The students will be able to recognize that our sense of smell and
taste sometimes depend on each other (Knowledge).
Sour Patch Kids
Carmel and Chocolate Chips
Anticipatory Set: If you hold your nose to stop your sense of smell, can you still taste?
Hypothesis: Yes, I can still taste or No, I cannot still taste.
Exploration: The students will get into groups of two. Each student will be given two
paper plates and one fork. Each group will be given two slices of an orange
and two slices of a grapefruit. Partner A will hold their nose and close their
eyes while partner B uses a fork to put one of the two pieces of fruit into
partner A’s mouth. Partner A will chew and swallow the fruit without
peeking. The process will continue using the other piece of fruit. Partner A
will then try to tell partner B which fruit they were given first and then
second. The roles will then be switched and the same experiment will be
conducted by partner B.
Purpose: The purpose of this experiment is to show students that some of our senses work
Things to do: 1. The teacher will pass out the experimental reports to each student and
have them fill out the sheets.
2. The teacher will walk around and observe the students while they
engage in this experiment.
3. The teacher will make sure that each student is taking turns doing the
4. The teacher will make sure that no one is giving away the answers and
that the student are actually doing the experiment.
Things to ask: 1. After the teacher observes that both students in the group are finished
the experiment, he/she will ask the students what they have discovered
and if they have proved or disapproved their hypothesis.
Things to ask: 1. The teacher will ask the students to discuss what went on in each of
their experiments. The teacher will ask the students whose hypothesis’
were proven and whose were not.
Concept Introduction: The teacher will go over the experiment step by step with the
students. Then he/she will use a dictionary to look up the
meaning and introduce the concept, olfactory receptor. This
concept will then be related to our sense of smell. The teacher
will explain that the reason why we do not taste the fruit is
because when we hold our nose, we cut off the flow of air that
leads to the olfactory receptors or smelling sensors which taste
buds help us realize what we are eating.
Things to do: 1. The teacher will reiterate this concept once again.
2. The teacher will answer any questions the students may have.
3. By the students responses, the teacher will know whether or not the
students understand the concepts
Concept Application: The teacher will distribute sour patch kids and caramel and
chocolate chips to each group. The teacher will tell them to hold
their nose a place one piece of candy in their mouth.
Things to do: 1. Hand out another experimental report and distribute candy to each
2. Have the students decide whether or not they will be able to taste the
different kinds of candy while holding their nose.
Things to ask: 1. The teacher will ask the students what they have found.
2. The teacher will then ask the students why they were able to taste some
of candy and not the others.
Evaluation: The teacher will ask questions regarding the lesson, touching all the key
concepts and points. The teacher will have the students sit in groups and talk
to each other about what they have learned. This helps the teacher see how
the students communicate their ideas and how well they understood the
material that was covered in the lesson.
Closure: The teacher will sum up the lesson and all the main points as well as concepts.
Topic: My Hands: What I Can Do With Them And How Important They Are!
Curriculum Reference: Teacher Created Materials, 1990.
Generalizations: Our hands help us to feel as well as identify objects.
Facts: 1. Our hands help us feel things.
2. We can figure out what an object is by using our hands to feel
3. The sense of touch helps us determine the texture of an object.
Concepts: 1. Texture
Lesson Objectives: By the end of this lesson, the students will be able to correctly.
identify textures and shapes using only their hands. (Comprehension)
The students will be able to orally tell the importance of their hands.
The students will be able to construct their own touch and feel
Materials: Touch and Feel board, blindfold, different textures, construction
paper, scissors, paste, crayons, magazines, “Touch... What Do You
Feel”, by Nicholas Wood.
Anticipatory Set: The teacher will start a discussion about hands and how we use
them. He/She will ask the students to give some suggestions about
what we use our hands for. The teacher will record the answers on
the board. The teacher will also offer suggestions. Next the teacher
Will read the story, “Touch… What do you Feel?”
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to explain the importance of the sense
Things to do: 1. With the use of the touch and feel board that contains different
textures, blindfold the children and have them identify the different
2. Discuss the different textures that the students are feeling.
Things to ask: After observing the students the teacher will ask about the different
textures and the different objects that they felt.
Closure: Have students create their own textured game cards by cutting
construction paper into squares. Students can collect different
textures from around the room and paste them on the squares. Then
students can pass their texture cards to other classmates and have
them guess what is on their cards.
Topic: Making Rainbows
Curriculum Reference: Teacher Created Materials, 1990.
Generalizations: Without the sense of sight we would not be able to see things such as a
Facts: 1. Our eyes help us see.
2. our eyes enable us to see danger that may lie ahead.
Concepts: 1. Mirror
Lesson Objectives: By the end of this lesson the students will be able to discuss the
importance of the sense of seeing. (Comprehension)
The students will be able to describe the importance of the
experiment in their journals. (Comprehension)
The students will be able to experiment with objects to create a
rainbow that they will be able to see. (Synthesis)
Materials: Glass, water, small mirror, white sheet of paper, sunshine.
Anticipatory Set: Read a story about rainbows and explain that we will be making our
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to have the students conduct an
experiment in which they can see the result.
Things to do: 1. Have the students fill a glass with water.
2. Then place the mirror inside the glass.
3. Set the glass on the white paper right near a sunny window.
4. Watch as a rainbow will appear.
Things to ask: The teacher will ask the students what else they can see with their
Closure: Have the students write in a journal about their experiment.
References and other Resources
Books and Periodicals for Teachers:
Hale, Janet. “Five Senses.” Teacher Created Materials, Inc. Huntington Beach, CA.
Trade Books for Children:
Aliki. “My Hands.” N Rainbow Bridge Books. Open Court. La Salle, IL. 1989.
Cole, Joanna. “It’s Too Noisy!” Weekly Reader Books. New York, NY. 1989.
Films and Videos:
Beacon. “Seeing Things.” Catalog of Instructional Videos by Camden County. 1987.
Filmstrips and Picture Files:
Santrey, Laurence. “Discovering the Stars.” Troll Associates. Mahwah, NJ. 1982.