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Using Our Five Senses Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-BSS0204
Submitted by: Patricia Woods
Email: patricialwoods@juno.com
School/University/Affiliation: University of California, Riverside, CA
Date: March 28, 2003

Grade Level: Preschool Education, Kindergarten


  • Health/Body Systems and Senses
  • Language Arts/Literature/Children’s Literature

Duration: 45 minutes

Description: This lesson will help students recognize that they have five senses and what those senses are.

Goals: California Science Content Standards (gr. K):

  • Investigation and Experimentation
    • 4a. Observe common objects by using the five senses.

Objective: Students will be able to identify and explain what the five senses are (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste). Materials:

  • The Popcorn Dragon by Jan Thayer and illustrated by Lisa McCue (published by William Morrow & Company) ISBN 0688083404
  • popcorn (unpopped)
  • hot air popcorn popper
  • napkins
  • colored construction paper
  • glue
  • popcorn already popped ahead of time
  • small squares of wax paper
  • copies of an outline of a body, with eyes, nose, mouth, hands, and ears (needs to be created by the teacher)
  • crayons: red, orange, yellow, green, blue


  • sight – The ability of our eyes to see those things around us.
  • sound – The ability of our ears to hear the sounds around us.
  • smell – The ability of our nose to smell all the different smells around us.
  • touch – The ability of our hands and skin to feel the things around us.
  • taste – The ability of our tongue to taste all the different foods around us.
  • Procedure:
    Explain to the children that almost everyone has five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell). Today, students will listen to a story about the five senses and then discuss how each of us use our five senses. Read the story, The Popcorn Dragon , by Jan Thayer. Discuss the story, using lots of references to the five senses.

    Inform the children that we are now going to use all of our senses. We are going to hear something, see something, smell something, touch something, and taste something.

    • Show the children the unpopped popcorn. We are using our sense of sight to look at the popcorn. We are going to do something with this popcorn later.
    • Put the popcorn into the hot air popper. We are using our sense of hearing now. Listen to the kernels as they whirl around the inside. As the kernels start to pop, have the children to listen to the kernels pop. Have the children close their eyes. Does it sound any different with your eyes closed?
    • As the kernels start to pop, ask the children to sniff the air. Do you smell the popcorn? Does it smell good? Does it make you hungry?
    • After the popcorn stops popping, take the popcorn out and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, start passing out the popcorn. Inform the children that they are now using their sense of touch. What does the popcorn feel like? Is it soft or hard? Is it heavy or light? What color is it? Close your eyes, what does it feel like now?
    • The children may now taste the popcorn. We are using the sense of taste now. What does it taste like? Is it good to you? Do you like it?

    Now students will be doing an art project with the popcorn. Take the extra popcorn you have already made and pass some out to each child. Pass out a sheet of colored construction paper to each child. Then pass out a small amount of glue on a small square piece of wax paper. Tell the children they can make a picture out of the popcorn. They can make a shape, letter, number, or anything else they feel like making. If there is time, let the children explain to you what they are making. Assessment: Give the children a copy of a body outline (needs to be created by the teacher). Give them a red, yellow, orange, green, and blue crayon. Ask the children to pick up their red crayon; tell the children to draw an X on what they would use to feel or touch something. Ask the children to pick up their orange crayon; tell them to draw an X on what they would use to hear something. Ask the children to pick up their yellow crayon; tell them to draw an X on what they would use to taste something. Ask the children to pick up their green crayon; tell them to draw an X on what they would use to smell something. Ask them to pick up their blue crayon; tell them to draw an X on what they would use to see something. Collect students’ papers.

    Useful Internet Resource:
    * California Science Content Standards

    Other References:

  • My Five Senses by Aliki, Let’s Read and Find Out Books. HarperTrophy ISBN 006445083X
  • The Listening Walk by Aliki HarperTrophy ISBN 0064433226
  • Special Comments: I would set aside a time the next day, after the pictures have dried, to properly share the pictures they have made. Let them share with you what they have made.