Each day at Square Roots Preschool, we work on a group project that requires the students to work together. Sometimes we focus on phonics, sometimes science, or gardening, or cooking. We recently learned about our five senses through hands-on exploration and observation, which is much more effective for preschool-aged children than simply discussing the concept.
We used a familiar object that would intrigue the students so that they could look at it in a new, detailed way: the marshmallow! By passing around one marshmallow and allowing each child to have a turn to make observations, the students were able to listen to one another and absorb all of the information. We saved the sense of “taste” for last so that each of the students could have their own, fresh specimen. The children made some insightful (and sometimes funny) observations:
SIGHT: “I see bumps,” “looks like a lofty snowball,” “lots of white dots”
SMELL: “smells like good,””smells like nothing,” “smells like gluten-free bread”
TOUCH: “feels soft and silky,” “sticky,” “squishy,” “feels like bread and white chalk,” “powdery”
HEARING: “I hear touching,” “a gerbil scurrying around,” “nothing”
TASTE: “vanilla,” “not spicy,” “good”
By observing, experimenting, and discussing the marshmallows, our preschoolers learned all about their five senses by doing. We asked our parents to reinforce these concepts at home by finding objects to explore and describe.