Grade Level: Kindergarten
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Topic: Five senses
Location: Helen Keller Kids Museum (American Foundation for the blind; New York, NY)
Standards: Virginia Standards of Learning for Kindergarten (Health):
“K.1 The student will explain that the body is a living and growing organism. Key concepts/ skills include […] the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) and major body parts (e.g., head, trunk, arms, legs, hands, feet)” (Board of Education Commonwealth of Virginia, 2008, p. iii).
Objective: By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to define the key five sense and explain, which body organ is responsible for sensing a corresponding signal, as well as define the compensation methods for disabled people (e.g., tactile experience as a substitute for sight, etc.).
Since modern technology has opened a plethora of opportunities for teachers and students, it will be most reasonable to integrate them into the field trip experience. However, as the museum already offers a range of exciting experiences, it will be reasonable to use technology as the means to share experiences after the field trip by exchanging posts in a social network or carrying out a complimentary interactive online assignment.
The students will work in pairs (visual experiences), individually (tactile experiences), and groups (aural experiences).
The students will be tricked into paying attention by the discovery that something as simple as seeing is, in fact, a result of a very tricky process. Hence, it will be reasonable to include such an exercise as naming the colors of the words, which will be discussed later, at the beginning of the lesson.
The assignment is completely aged appropriately; being kindergarteners, students only learn to explore the world and, therefore, have not yet learned to differentiate between various experiences (e.g., visual, aural, etc.) (Davis, 2013). Therefore, it is crucial for them at present to learn to analyze their sensations and make the corresponding conclusions.
Students will be able to name their five senses and their functions, as well as use these senses appropriately to make logical conclusions.
The entire lesson will take 60 minutes. During this period, it will be possible to keep the students’ attention and maintaining their enthusiasm without letting them get tired or bored. The explanations will take five minutes. Afterward, the observation of every exhibit (5 minutes) will be followed by a corresponding activity (5 minutes). The final five minutes will be used for students to share their impressions about the field trip and for the teacher to give the students a home assignment.
Students will compare the tastes, sounds, tactile experiences, smells, and look of different objects.
The students will attempt at reading one or two simple words in Braille. Afterward, the students will be provided with activity, in which they will have to name the color of the words on sheets of paper without reading the words. The activity will look in the following way:
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|Green(correct answer: blue)||Yellow(correct answer: black)||Black(correct answer: red)|
|Red(correct answer: orange)||Blue(correct answer: green)||Orange(correct answer: yellow)|
The next exercise will concern tactile functions. The students will be asked to close their eyes and will be given several objects (a LEGO block, a tennis ball, etc.). Their task will be to name the objects by the sense of touch. The next activity will concern hearing; the teacher will ask the students to close their eyes and will make different sounds (e.g., keys dropped on the floor, water being poured into the glass, etc.). The students will have to define the object by the sound that it makes. To train the students’ perception of taste they will be given a sip from cups of salted water, sugary water, water with lemon juice, and a sip of onion juice, with their eyes closed. Finally, the sense of smell will be explored by comparing the smells of perfume, flavored gum, a green apple, etc.
Students will do the exercises related to matching objects with their tastes, color, smell, shape, and the sounds that they make when colliding with other objects.
The teacher will ask the students about their experiences. The students will share their ideas and impressions.
Diversity / Differentiation for Exceptionalities
Learning Styles (modalities/multiple intelligences)
Since the lesson revolves around the concept of five senses, all learners, including visual, aural, and kinesthetic ones, will have an opportunity to participate.
While the lesson does provide a rather basic explanation of how the five senses work, it may also speak to those students, who would like to take their exploration of the five senses to a greater territory, for example, a study of how exactly the signal is received by the human brain.
Seeing that a range of activities is self-informing due to the obvious link with the five senses, even the students with limited English speaking skills will be able to understand most of the material intuitively (Parker, 2006).
LD, ED, ADD
For students with learning disabilities to get the learning material, it will be reasonable to split the class into pairs.
The information about different perceptions of visual, aural, and tactile signals by representatives of different cultures should also be introduced into the course of the lesson, not as a separate activity, but as an additional piece of information to the five minutes introduction before each of the activities.
It should be noted that the issue of the five senses is readable for students of any culture. However, certain activities, such as the recognition of color (Activity 1) can be followed by the explanation of the difference in the color meanings in different cultures (e.g., black is related tonight in the American culture and to snow in the Japanese one).
It is expected that the students will be able to learn the material rather easily since they will relate to the concept of the five senses easily. Therefore, the level of engagement can be used as the key measure of students’ understanding of the subject matter. Also, the timely completion of the in-class activities will be considered a major criterion.
Board of Education Commonwealth of Virginia (2008). Health education standards for learning for Virginia public schools. Richmond, VA: Board of Education Commonwealth of Virginia.
Davis, L. (2013). Common core literacy lesson plans (K-5): Ready-to-use resources, K-5. New York, NY: Routledge.
Parker, C. E. (2006). 30 graphic organizers for writing grades 5-8. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.