We began our study of the human body on the outside and worked our way in — as most Montessori learning goes! After learning all about The Outer Body, the skeletal system, and the muscular system, we decided to start at the top and working our way down. My favorite part of our nervous system study was learning about the five senses!
We spent a full 10 days on the 5 senses — one each for the physical part of the body that did the sensing, and one each for utilizing those parts of our own bodies to experience some sensing.
For the sense of sight, we learned about how eyes work using some of our Human Body encyclopedias (see book list at the bottom of this post). Then we played “I Spy” to experience our eyes working!
For the sense of hearing, we learned about the parts of the inner ear in our books, then played something we call “The Listening Game.” We sat in a circle with our eyes closed and stayed completely silent. We listened to the sounds around us, then talked about what we heard. Some of the sounds we identified were the clock ticking, L’s tummy rumbling, birds singing, and cars driving by outside.
The sense of taste is always a fun one! First we examined each other’s taste buds using a magnifying glass. Then it was time to test our taste buds!
I set up a tasting tray for each of the different tastes: table salt for salty, sugar for sweet, coffee grounds for bitter, lemon slices for sour, and beef broth for umami.
It was an adventure tasting each of the different tastes! Clear favorites were the sweet sugar and the umami beef broth, but N was kind of enjoying that sour lemon!
For the sense of smell, we learned about how the nose works in our books. Then I brought out some smelling jars. I took six small mason jars and poked holes in the lids with a hammer and nail. I put a cotton ball in each jar and put a few drops of different extracts on each (1 type per jar), then closed them up.
We finished up our study of the five senses with the sense of touch. We learned about touch receptors in our books, then tested our sense of touch using a rough and smooth board. We also played a game where we closed our eyes and lightly poked one another to see if the one being poked could identify exactly where on their body they were touched!
This was just part of our study of the nervous system — I’ll share the rest in my next post!
We rely heavily on wonderful children’s books for all of our themed studies, and here are the books we used to study the five senses:
My Five Senses, by Margaret Miller
Seeing, by Kimberley Jane Pryor
Hearing, by Kimberley Jane Pryor
Tasting, by Kimberley Jane Pryor
Smelling, by Kimberley Jane Pryor
The Holes In Your Nose, by Genichiro Yagyu
Touching, by Kimberley Jane Pryor
I Can Tell By Touching, by Carolyn Otto
Stay tuned as we continue to dive deeper into our human body study!