Sense Does It Make?
How it works:
By incorporating a multi-sensory approach and an experiential curriculum,
this program enables kindergarten and first-grade students to understand how their senses
function. They respond to the essential
question: How do the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing
help us understand our world? Specifically, the students identify
the five senses and their functions and explain what information each
sense gives us. This program promotes scientific inquiry by collecting
information gained through observation and experience. The students provide and use relevant theme vocabulary and categorize the new
vocabulary appropriate to each sense.
Each lesson is introduced to the entire class in a group meeting
that highlights one sense at a time. Both receptive and
expressive language are used to determine the students' understanding of
the concepts in the lessons and program. Word walls for each lesson provide a visual connection between the words and their
characteristics and promote the development of vocabulary and
spelling. The computer can be used in center time as a word processor
for those students able to develop written stories regarding each sense. Others may want to use writing
and painting to create a
picture using Kid Pix software.
Students learn that humans and other organisms have senses that help them detect internal
and external cues. They interpret a bar graph; sort and classify objects by shape, size and
color; and collect data and
record their results with tallies, blocks, and graphs. They show an understanding and appreciation of stories read; add
to a growing vocabulary; and share ideas, facts, observations, and opinions with classmates and
materials include a tape
recorder and prerecorded listening tape, a "feely box",
assorted flavored jelly beans, a variety of scented objects, a "pin the
tail on the donkey" game with blindfold, a scanner or camera, a
computer with Kid Pix software, and construction paper, scissors,
glue, and markers.
The lessons in What Sense Does It Make? are geared to children
language skills and therefore rely on repetition.
Hence, there is a similar and easy format to follow for each lesson.
Also, many aspects of each lesson incorporate hands-on activities.
This program is suitable for any early childhood
kindergarten classroom. The students enjoy the hands-on aspect of each lesson and are eager to talk and
learn more about each sense. This helps children with a limited understanding of the vocabulary. The students' interest is maintained
through the different interactive activities
provided in each lesson. Other teachers might want to adapt
this for their class because it is fun -- for both the teacher and the
Depending on the students' abilities, teachers can vary the completion
About the teacher:
Cindy Lewis teaches a self-contained early-childhood (K-1) special
education class at PS 142 in lower Manhattan. Her students have been identified as speech and language impaired, learning disabled,
emotionally disturbed, and multiply handicapped. She recently
completed a year on sabbatical studying computers and the application
of technology in the classroom.