Children often do not realize how much
information they can obtain with their ears. They can often identify things
that make sounds, tell roughly how far away they are, and which direction they
are traveling. Part of this ability comes because we have two ears; if hearing
is damaged in one of them, it is often difficult to tell where a sound
originates. The ability to tell the direction of travel and distance is due to
the loudness of the sound compared to what we would expect if the sound were
near us, as well as whether the sound is getting louder or softer, and rising
or lowering in pitch.
The senses of taste and smell are closely
related. If the nose is pinched closed (and eyes are closed), a child cannot
tell whether he is biting into an apple or an onion. This is one reason why
foods seem tasteless when we have bad colds. The sense of smell is powerful.
In this exercise, children will try to identify smells to their origin and to
associations it creates.
- Discuss the sense of hearing. Ask students what part of
the body do we use to hear with and what we can find out by listening. Do we
need both ears? Have children close their eyes and listen for a minute. Call
names and ask what they hear. Ask them whether the sounds are loud or soft.
Walk behind the children. Make a number of different noises with objects that
you may have. See if they can identify them. Play different notes on the
keyboard. See if the children can tell which notes are higher and which notes
- Have all the children sit in a large circle. Pass out
several pairs of blocks or other objects. Have one child sit in the center
with a blindfold on. Have different children click their objects together and
the student in the center must try to determine where the sound comes from.
Then have the student in the center close one ear and try to locate the sound.
This is a little more difficult.
- Talk about taste and smell and how they are related. Pick
one child for a demonstration. Blindfold the student and pinch the nose. Give
the student a piece of pear, apple, potato and onion. Ask the children if they
can identify them or tell the difference between them. You may want to pair
the children to get them to experiment with each other. Let them try to
identify the smells in the little jars that you have prepared. See if any
memories, good or bad, are triggered by the smells, for example alcohol with a
hospital experience, or cinnamon with baking. Review what they have done.
Identify the hidden smells and sounds.