Elementary Science K/5

Created: 2007 05 14 | Percent completed: 00%.png

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Lesson 5 - SensesEdit


  • Observe how senses are used.
  • Identify the five sense organs.


Popcorn popper, Popcorn kernels, butter, and salt Large bowl Cups and/or napkins for individual servings of popcorn


This lesson merely introduces children to the five senses. Each sense will be investigated further in upcoming lessons.


Ask students to wash their hands before beginning this activity. Review how washing hands to eliminate germs and dirt is especially important prior to eating.

Give each student one or two kernels of unpopped corn. (Warn children of the choking danger of putting a small kernel of corn in their mouths before it is popped.) Ask: How does the unpopped corn look? Allow several responses. Ask: How does the unpopped corn feel? Again allow for several responses. Ask: Does the unpopped corn have any smell? Ask children to throw away the unpopped corn they have been handling. Stress how proper food handling will eliminate germs and keep us healthy. Be sure all children are seated and safely away from popcorn popper before continuing.

Begin popping clean popcorn kernels. As the kernels are popping, discuss the sounds students hear and what they smell. When popping is complete, serve each child an individual serving of the popcorn. Before they eat it, compare the touch, sight, and smell of the popped corn to the unpopped kernels. Allow time for the children to eat the popcorn. Ask students to describe how the popcorn tastes. Ask: What did you learn about popcorn? Guide students to identify all five sense organs and tell how each sense organ helped them gain information about the popcorn.

Sample questions might be: How does the popcorn look before it is popped? (It's yellow. It's small.) What part of our body helped us to know? (our eyes) How does the popcorn smell after we popped it? (yummy, warm) What part of our body helped us to know? (our nose) How does the popcorn taste? (buttery, salty) What part of our body helped us to know? (our tongue - Accept mouth as a correct answer at this point.) How did the popcorn sound as it popped? (It was loud.) What part of our body helped us to know? (our ears) How did the unpopped corn feel in our hands? (smooth, hard, flat, cool) What about after it was popped? (soft, warm, bumpy) What part of our body helped us to know? (our skin; Accept hands or fingers as a correct response.)

Ask: Do you think anyone else in school knew we were popping popcorn today? How might they have known? (They could smell the popcorn. They could hear the corn popping.)

Tell children that our body helps us to learn about the world around us. Tell children they will be exploring and learning more about their eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin in science lessons to follow.


Read The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola (Holiday House, 1978) as a follow-up to the lesson. This is a wonderful book full of facts about how popcorn is made, how Native Americans used it, and how Americans today enjoy it.