Applied Science - Science and Math (KB)

  • Experiencing the different senses.
  • Discovering how to use the senses to find new things
  • feel
  • hear
  • senses
  • sight
  • smell
  • touch
  •  objects for “feely” boxes

Students use their senses to identify different objects.



The human body has five major senses which operate to gather information from the world around us, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.  Any stimulus to one of the sense areas is detected by sensory nerves and is sent to the brain for interpretation.

The eye (an organ) acts like a camera.  Human vision is stereoscopic, which means seeing in three dimensions.  When we look at objects, two slightly different images are transmitted to the brain, and are merged so the brain can interpret the image that we see.  This allows us to see objects which stand away from the background, not flat like you see in a photograph.   

The ear (an organ) is specially made to receive sound waves that are sent out by vibrating objects and converts them into sensations we call sound.

The nose contains the nostrils and organs of smell. The stimulus that excites smell is chemical, for example onion and garlic give off different chemical sensations.

The tongue is the organ that controls taste.  Taste is also a chemical stimulus.  Things to be tasted must touch the tongue, sometimes, taste become combined with smell because of the connection between the mouth and the back of the nose.

Touch is created by stimulating the skin (the largest organ of the body) through the sensations of touch, pressure, pain, heats and cold.   Discussing senses and actually having the children experience the different senses requires selecting items that will "accent" the sensation of that sense.  For instance, the sense of touch is much more exciting if the item being touched cannot be seen and feels "gooey."  If you eliminate some of the other senses and have the children rely just on one sense, the sensation is much more acute.


Now that the students have learned about senses, let them use their newfound knowledge to explore items.  You can do this in several ways, depending on the availability of materials and the help you get from parents. 

  1. One way is to make "feely" boxes.  Put items in a box that the students cannot see what the item is.  Try to get objects that have an unusual feel.  Use a box with a hole cut in the side or use an empty tissue box and have the students figure out what they are touching.   Have the students describe the texture.  It is more important to have the students use their senses than identify the object.  (When you finish with the materials, put them back into their appropriate box. Students will want to play with the items if you leave them out.) Students are using the sense  of touch and eliminating the sense of sight.  On some of the items you might have the students shake the box to use the sense of sound. 
  2. You can blind fold your students and give them samples of fruit to see if they can determine what the fruit is (sense of taste).   While they are blind folded, bottles of perfume or flavoring can test the sense of smell.
  3. If you have enough help, you can divide the students into small groups and discuss the following activities.  For instance, one station might have different smells, for example vanilla, perfume, oil, or any other smells you would like to introduce.  Ask students to pick the smell that reminds them of cookies (vanilla) or the one that reminds them of flowers (rose perfume).  At another station, cut up pieces of oranges, apples, bananas, lemons, or any other fruit.  Have students close their eyes and ask them which one tastes sour (lemon).

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