Quest for Education and Arts

Curiosity Club

The Five Senses - 1/13/16

Welcome back to all of my continuing students and welcome to our new friends; Matthew, JoHannah, Kaylee, Hunter and Nathaniel!

Today we started our unit on the Five Senses: sight, smell, taste, hear, touch. To start off class we shared some stories about our Christmas breaks and also about all the snow! They all had SO many stories we could've talked the whole class time (and beyond)!

In the younger class we talked about our sense of hearing. We looked at the model of the ear and talked about how it works inside. We also talked about the eardrum and how it vibrates when sound travels into our ears. To help the students understand how it works, I brought out some tuning forks. I demonstrated how they work then let the kids have a turn trying it out. When they brought the tuning forks close to their ears, they could hear the vibrations even when it didn't seem like they were making any sound!

To help them visualize just how the eardrum works, I had a large mixing bowl with plastic wrap stretched across the top and about a teaspoon of rice on top of that. We struck the tuning forks to get them vibrating and then very gently touched the top of the bowl near the rice. The vibrations caused the rice to "dance" across the plastic wrap!

In the older class we started with our sense of hearing as well. We completed the same activities as the younger class only with a more in-depth conversation about the way our ears work. We also brainstormed some animals with large ears which help them hear better: bats, elephants and fox (to name a few). They also noticed that the tuning forks would vibrate other items like earrings and make noise when touching other items like the side of the bowl.

Next in the older class, we started to talk about sight. We learned the "floating sausage" trick when talking about our field of vision. To see how to do the illusion check out this webpage: Personal Illusions. There is an area in our field of vision where the pictures from each eye overlap. This illusion allows you to see what it would look like if you were a cyclops with one eye!

After that we talked about color blindness. We haven't talked much about the actual anatomy of the eye yet (we will next week) so I told them that color-blindness mostly affects boys and that there are different degrees of color-blindness. We looked at some test images for color-blindness to see how our eyes worked. You can view the images here: ColorVision Testing. There is a kit they sell on this website but if you scroll down you can see some of the test cards. Some of the kids were surprised they couldn't see anything!

Lastly, we talked a bit about smell and how our noses work. I had the kids do a smell test in which they had to identify six different smells. A couple of the scents were pretty strong so it made the test a little challenging!

I hope everyone had fun this week! We will continue our adventure through the five senses next week!

**Also, I will normally be adding pictures of what we are doing to all of the posts but I forgot to take pictures this week!**