Saturday, October 13, 2012


It's easy to find ways for children in the classroom to see, touch, and feel. Smelling is something a little more difficult. In a recent unit on the five senses, we celebrated smell week with the ultimate smell challenge. During large group, we passed a can around describing what we smelled. I put tissue over the can with a rubber band and poked a hole in it for our noses. As we shared, I instructed the children to say anything they wanted about it... except what is WAS. I wasn't sure if they could handle this, but they did nicely. "It smells bitter." "It smells strong." "It smells delicious!" "It smells yucky!" 

After that we made guesses about what we thought it was. Then the coffee was revealed. "How did you know it was coffee? Where have you smelled it before? Oh, you made a connection to something you've smelled your mom drinking!" 

In the science center, we set up a miniature version, which was the week-long challenge. I am lucky enough to have a collection of old film canisters, and we soaked different cotton balls with different smelly things. (vanilla, dish soap, lemon juice, etc.) Then we used some things that we simply put in the bottom of the canister and covered it up with the cotton ball. (peanut butter, chocolate powder, etc.) Pictures of each item were printed, cut, and laminated. The goal was to match all of the smells and pictures. During large group I modeled how to smell, how to refrain from touching, and how to match the pictures. "I think I'll smell this one! Wow, it smells sour! I know lemons are sour. This reminds me of lemonade. I'm going to match it with the lemon picture." The children had to wait to smell until they were on their own, so I wasn't spoiling the answers! 

Peanut Butter, Garlic, Lemon

Look, Ms. Rembert! We matched them all! 

Examining the chocolate picture with a magnifying glass

"Mmmm! It smells like cinnamon toast!"

For the past five weeks we've also been singing this song, to the tune of "There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog." 

I have 5 senses that I know
They're pathways to my brai-ain. 
See, hear, smell, taste, touch, 
See, hear, smell, taste, touch, 
See, hear, smell, taste, touch, 
They're pathways to my brai-ain!  

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