Literary activity exploring the senses

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Literacy Activity

Cole, J, & Degen, B (1999). The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses.New York, NY: Scholastic Press. This book is a great literary connection with this senses activity. It explains in a fun and creative way the intricacies of the senses. This book goes into more detail than other books I have found on the senses. It is also at an grade-appropriate level.

When a classroom starts a unit it often spreads out into every subject. The following literary activity can be used to discover the senses as well.

In class: The students should be split into five groups. Each group is given a sense impairment: Hearing- earmuffs, Sight- blindfold, Touch- big mittens, Smell- each student should hold their nose and breathe through their mouth, Taste- this group won't be allowed to eat the 'mystery' thing. Then give each group a saltine and have them identify it without one sense. Following the activity each student should go get his or her own journal. Then give them about 20 minutes to write about how they use their senses. This entry should include all five senses and at least one way they use the sense everyday.At the end of their journal entry they should write about how they were feeling during this activity. This activity will allow them to apply the material they have covered to their lives and the lives of others.

At Home: At home the student will interview their guardian. The interview will be about how the parents think they would adapt to life without one of their senses. The worksheet would look something like this:

Imagine Your World Without a Sense

Instructions: This activity is an interview. Please ask your parent, older sibling or grandparent so answer the following questions. You should write down their answers.

Question 1: How would your world be different if you couldn't hear?

Answer 1: ______________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Question 2: What would you have to change and why?

Answer 2: ______________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Question 3: What do you think you would learn about being deaf?

Answer 3: _______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

Question 5: What would be the most interesting to you?

Answer 5:___________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

Question 6: How would you cope(deal) with being deaf?

Answer 6: __________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

Bloom's Taxonomy:

  • Knowledge: These students will demonstrate knowledge by building on their previous knowledge of the senses. They will also hear and think about what it would be like to loose a sense.
  • Comprehension: These students will demonstrate an understanding through their journal entries. They will also be able to predict about the lose of a sense through their 'at-home' interview.
  • Application: The students will show that they understand and can apply these topics to their lives through their journaling.
  • Analysis: The students will identify each sense, how it's used in their lives. They will also be able to distinguish how the lose of one of these things will affect their lives.
  • Synthesis: The students will be able to use the information they already know and apply it in two different ways, a journal writing and an interview.
  • Evaluation: The student will be assessed on their knowledge, their ability to categorize the senses and their ability to apply that knowledge to their lives.
This literary activity relates to Exploring the Five Senses
a BES literature connection
Produced by students in Biology in Elementary Schools, a Saint Michael's College class.
Other resources can be found at the Biology in Elementary Schools home page