Applied Science - Science and Math (1C)
Pre Lab 

  • Exploring the different senses.
  • Investigating human senses.
  •  hearing
  •  senses
  •  sight
  •  smell
  •  taste
  •  touch
  • ice cube 
  • warm water
  • plant in pot
  • 2 different types of potatoes
     (or other substitute items)

Students use their senses to describe objects.


We use five senses to observe our environment including sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste.  In this activity children will learn to use two of these senses to describe their environment.

Of the five senses, humans, rely most heavily on sight.  When sight is missing, we substitute touch and hearing.  We determine color, shape, size, distance and sometimes texture with our eyes.  We can also examine things that are very large, or very small (with microscopes or magnifying glass) or very far away (with a telescope).  With touch, we can determine texture (smooth, rough, sticky, hairy or fuzzy, slimy, wet, soft, and hard), shape (if the item can be handled), and weight and size within certain limits.  We also feel heat, cold and pain.


  1. Discuss the five different senses and what parts of the body are required to use that sense.  Remember the brain is the central area that interprets signals from the rest of the body.  Ear drums within the ear detect sound.  Taste buds on the tongue record the type of taste.  The cells within the walls of the nose detect different smells.  Different parts of the skin detect touch.  Eyes use light to concentrate an image that is transmitted to the brain.  
  2. Describing the senses requires a vocabulary that first graders are developing.  Use items mentioned in the materials to help students to find the “correct” word.  For instance, have several students feel an ice cube.  They should feel the following sensations of cold, sting, icy, or tingly.  But to help describe the feeling to another student they may say, “Very cold, like ice cream touching your tongue.”  Make students think about how else to describe this feeling.
  3. Use warm water to have students describe water without feeling it.  They will probably describe cool and not even think about warm. 
  4. A potted plant may be difficult because the students will have to describe the pot, the plant, and the soil.  They may want to compare how the pot and the plant look together.
  5. If you have two potatoes (red and Idaho, for instance), ask students why they are both called a potato, when they look so different. 

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