Friday, October 3, 2014

Discovery Education & Our Five Senses

So I promised the blog post a LONG time ago but since then my world has turned upside down in very exciting ways that I cannot wait to share with you a little later on. (No, not pregnant - yet!) I hope this finds you all well and enjoy your new kiddos!

Have you heard of Discovery Education? If not you are missing out, and you must be fairly new to my blog (older posts here)! 

DE is an amazing resource that I am so lucky to be provided by my school system. One of my all time favorite parts of DE (there are sooooo many) is the common core lesson plans. I taught a few of them last year, but made a point this year to put them on my scope and sequence. These lessons are amazing! They include links to video and image files from DE, worksheets, digital books and many more resources. Not to mention they list all the common core standards you are teaching!!! 

This past week we started talking about our five senses. This is something in the past I have taught near Christmas along with gingerbread men. However, since starting to teach AMSTI (Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative) science kits, I now need to teach five senses at the beginning of the year. So I began looking for fun ways to get my kids interested and was so excited to find a great three day lesson already done for me on Discovery Education. 

I took this lesson and added to it to make a Project Based Learning lesson. I wanted to show not only how amazing the common core lessons from DE are but also how easy they are to add to and cover an amazing amount of standards.

Day 1
I asked the essential question for the lesson, which was provided in the DE lesson, (one less thing to come up with on my own!): 
How do we use our senses to learn about the world around us?
This lead to a really great discussion. Some of my kiddos knew about the five senses and some did not. Then there were some kids that knew what they were but not what they were called. I loved when those students figured out they actually knew more than they thought. Another thing I love about the DE lesson is that they give you a list of questions that you can ask during discussions that are great for bringing in ELA standards. These helped me lead the discussion to hit all five of the senses. 

After the discussion, I told the kids we were going to watch a video of Little Red Ridding Hood and I wanted them to think about how Red used her five senses. After the movie we reviewed the plot (questions provided with the lesson to cover science and ELA standards) and about all the ways Red used her five senses in the story. 

Next we re-watched the part where Red realizes the wolf is disguised as her grandmother. We made a chart of what Red noticed, the wolf's reasoning, and the sense.

To end the lesson for the day we read one of my favorite five senses books, My Five Senses by Aliki. Click the book to head over to Amazon and get a copy for yourself!

Day 2
We looked at our chart from the day before and discussed each sense and then labeled our five senses anchor chart:
This was a last minute find on Pinterest {here}. I made labels to laminate but they were not ready until late Friday so we just used sticky notes. 

We then talked about how important our senses are to us and how different our life would be without any of our senses. We closed our eyes and tried to write our name and then a few tried to find the bathroom. We did a lot of giggling but realized just how hard it would be not if we could not see.  We then watched a video from DE about a little boy, Tristan, that is deaf. When we discussed the video (again questions provided that cover not only science but ELA standards as well) I was touched by how much empathy the kids had for Tristan. We then talked about how Tristan was just like them in a lot of ways. I passed out the DE worksheet for them to write/draw about one way they are like Tristan.

Day 3
This was a short day due to our schedule. We reviewed our senses with our anchor charts.  We watched the short video segment from Discovery Education: Your Five Senses and the world around you.

My sweet teacher neighbor gave me an amazing and simple flip book to make with the kiddos. They drew which part of their body was important for each sense.

Then we moved into our AMSTI weather unit. We used our five senses to go outside and observe the weather. This lead us to talk about how scientist mostly just use FOUR of the five senses and how dangerous it is to taste things when we are being scientist! I sure did not want to have to write a letter to a parent to explain why their child ate dirt or licked the sidewalk. :)

Day 4
We started this lesson with the question, "How can we use all our senses at one time?". I had a lot of great responses and most were centered around food - which is where I wanted it to go. Then we popped and ate popcorn and filled in this anchor chart. (From Pinterest of course! here)

To wrap up our lesson I asked the essential question again. How do we use our senses to learn about the world around us? This time they wrote/drew about how they use their senses to learn about places they go or things they do. (part of the DE lesson)

I gave them the prompt: My senses help me learn about my world when I ___. They thought about a place they could go or something they could do. We then met on the carpet and shared our writing.

Just FYI in four days, I covered the following standards:

Other Books We Read:
 (Click on pictures to go to Amazon)

Link to my Kindergarten Anchor Charts Pinterest Board {here}

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