Grades: Pre Kindergarten to 2nd Grade
Lesson Plan Summary: Use different items and stories to help children understand and discuss the five senses.
A kaleidoscope or interesting photograph
Whistle or musical instrument
Piece of sand paper
Soft or furry piece of material
Perfume or sweet smelling flower
A piece of candy or sugar cube for each child
Monster Fun Senses Handout (available for download at www.bravemonster.com/monstersense.pdf)
The children’s picture book— Brave Little Monster by Ken Baker and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes (published by HarperCollins; ISBN 0060286989)
Activity Time: 30-40 minutes
Concepts Taught: The five senses; sight, sound (hearing), touch, smell, and taste.
Make enough copies of the Monster Fun Senses Handout (available for download at www.bravemonster.com/monstersense.pdf) for each student and then cut out the individual pictures.
Introduction to the Five Senses:
Explain that almost every person has five senses, sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Teach the students about each of the individual senses as follows:
- Sight - Explain what the sense of sight is in your own words. Let the students look at the photograph or kaleidoscope. Explain that everything they see with their eyes is through their sense of sight. Colors, movement, light, dark, people, animals, and places are all things that they see with their sense of sight.
- Sound - Explain what the sense of sound or hearing is in your own words. Blow the whistle or play the musical instrument. Explain that they heard that noise and that they hear all noises with their ears using their sense of sound or hearing. Shouting, whispering, singing, laughing, lions roaring, frogs croaking, all animal noises, noises in the city, noises in the country, and all noises are heard through these sense of hearing.
- Touch - Explain what the sense of touch is in your own words. Let them feel the soft material and the rough sand paper. Explain that they use their sense of touch in their skin, fingers, and all parts of their body, inside and out) to know how something feels. Pain, cold, heat, hunger, soft textures, rough textures, etc. are different things they can feel with their sense of touch.
- Smell - Explain what the sense of smell is in your own words. Let them smell the perfume or flower. Explain that everything they smell with their nose is using their sense of smell. Flowers, perfume, skunks, and cookies in the oven are all things that they can smell.
- Taste - Explain what the sense of taste is in your own words. Let them taste and eat the candy or sugar cube. Explain that when they eat, that the taste buds on their tongues lets them taste all the different flavors found in food. They taste the sweet, sour, salty, and bitterness of different things with their taste buds.
Assess and reinforce students understanding of the five senses
Hand out to each student a set of the picture handouts. Tell the class that you’re going to read them a story and that as you read the story you want the children to listen and look for times when the characters use their different senses. When they discover one of the senses being used they should hold up the picture representing that sense as well as a picture of the item the sense is acting on or related to. Then, read to the class the children’s picture book, Brave Little Monster by Ken Baker and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes (Information on Brave Little Monster can be found at http://www.bravemonster.com/bookinfo.htm). As you read the story, watch to see if the students display the correct pictures and encourage or congratulate them as they do so.
The following represent the most obvious scenes in the story where the senses are used and which pictures are provided for in the handout:
- Albert the monster thinks he sees a girl in his closet (sight)
- The girl is eating an ice cream cone (taste)
- Albert picks up a smelly sock off the floor (smell)
- Albert hears crayons squeaking (hearing)
- Boys like to grab your feet and playing piggy on your toes (touch)
- Albert sees a coloring book under his bed (sight)
- Albert sees the boy and girl dancing (sight)
- Albert sees the tree waving in the wind (sight)
- Albert feels his mom’s kiss (touch)
After reading the story, review with the students what and how the different senses were used throughout the story. The teacher can also discuss some of the other senses not represented in the picture handout, such as Albert feeling goosebumps on his arms or hearing his mom telling him to go to sleep. Make any needed additional explanations about the senses to reinforce students’ understanding.
For more information about the Brave Little Monster children’s picture book, other teaching resources, and author visits to your school, check out Ken Baker’s official web site at www.bravemonster.com.
Submitted by: Ken Baker ken@email-removed