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Minutes from ME


Sensible Words

Stop, look, listen.
What a sight!
Yuck, that smells.
Don't touch it!
What's that noise?
Mmmmm, chocolate!

How often do we use these commonplace phrases? Look again and you will see their common link - they all involve using our senses.

Of course it is our SENSES which give us the ability to touch, to taste, to smell, to hear and to see. Now we discuss this topic both generally and specifically by asking: What do the senses do for us?
They warn of danger. The smell of smoke, the sight of poison ivy, the prick of a thorn, etc.
They help us enjoy our world. The home run cheer, the bird's song, etc.
Which organ (or human instrument) do we use with each of our senses?
Which sense do we use most? which least? do you have a favorite?
Which is the sense, or senses, used in those commonplace phrases above?


Your own self ...

Close your eyes, to better concentrate, and use the fingers of one hand to TOUCH the other. Notice how the back is softer than the palm? How smooth fingernails are?
Open your eyes and LOOK very closely at that hand you just touched. See the knuckle wrinkles and veins on the back, the lines on the palm, the fingerprint whorls.
Hold your nose, lick the fingers on that same hand and see what you TASTE. Soap? Orange juice? Peanut butter? Nothing??
Now SMELL those same fingers? Any juice or soap or pizza sauce?
Finally close your eyes to concentrate, put that hand close to an ear and snap your fingers (or you could clap both hands). What does the noise you hear tell you?

Your own classroom ...

Use the same senses, with the same concentration, to observe things in and around your building. Do you hear other teachers or students or the traffic outside? Do you smell the chalk on the board, the marker flavors, that waxy crayon smell? Do you see how many colors and tints there are in just one room? Do feel the different roughness, smoothness, fuzziness of things around you? Experimental tasting never recommended for safety reasons (chalk tastes pretty awful anyway) so why not look around and come up with imaginary flavors for things you see. Peppermint window panes? Caramel chairs? Spinach writing paper? Licorice pens?

Your own campus ...

Take a walk around outside really concentrating on using your senses to notice as much as you can and stopping at chosen spots to discuss findings. Back in the classroom think back over your walk and make a combined list of all the things you "sensed" as you walked along - a trail map using senses. Save this map, it could be interesting to retrace the same trail every month or so and see if you can sense any changes.


Make a chart on a wall or a computer screen along the lines of:


Give each student an empty box to hold the articles they must find to match each category, making ten articles for each student.
On returning each student enters the name of their item for each category on the chart and describe for the others the sensory characteristic plus other sensory characteristics of their collection.


Each student must find a single different item which demonstrates an appeal to every one of the five senses. This task is not as simple as it seems and it has made for some wonderfully imaginative and creative explanations of using our senses.
CLUE: Are there any noisy edibles? Are there any tasty sounds?

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