Human Body: The Senses
Our senses enable us to experience our world. It was mind-boggling at times to try to understand how our body processes all this information--tastes, what we hear, what we see, touch and balance, and smells. I am very thankful though for my senses. Here are some of the activities we did during our senses lesson:
The Sense of Smell:
We first talked about our nose and how smells are really chemicals (typically gases) that are floating in the air. This chemical goes through the nose and somehow the brain is able to identify the smell. Pretty awesome! We put our noses to the test with mystery smell bottles. We used old film canisters and placed various scents in each canister. We had vanilla, maple flavoring, vinegar, and cinnamon. Have the kids close their eyes while sniffing the canister. Can they guess what scent it is?
After talking about what a gift the sense of taste is, we did several taste experiments. The first one came from Apologia's Human Anatomy book, pg 179. We gathered several food items in order to test if our tongue really has certain sections that only taste certain tastes.
Oh, this picture just cracks me up! My daughter is testing a substance on her tongue to see if our tongue does have 4 different taste zones (We have 5 different tastes, but we only tested 4 of them: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.)
We also did another experiment from the book that involved crackers, warm chocolate milk, and cold chocolate milk. We were testing if the temperature of food affected the taste.
We briefly talked about all the wonderful colors we could see with our eyes and then moved on. There was only so much we could fit in one class period! If you want a tasty way to talk about the parts of an eye, check out these cool eyeball cake pops from Layered Soul. You've got to click over and see the details. I wish she lived close enough to bake and make these for my group. :)
The older kids did the slinky demonstration on page 182 to show how sound waves travel.
Balance and Touch:
I gathered several objects with different textures and placed them in a mystery bag. The kids had to try to describe the object they were touching in the bag without looking. One thing we learned about the sense of touch is that it is a general sense which can be felt all over the body.
By this time, my K-2nd graders needed to move! So I had them spin and spin just like an ice-skater. We tried to focus on a spot so we wouldn't get dizzy. That didn't work for me! I could only try this once before I was done--lol. The kids tried multiple times. Once they couldn't spin anymore, we discussed the sense of balance.
As always, my K-2nd class had a take-home sheet and a coloring assignment in their human body coloring book.