The new academic year has begun and we are kicking off preschool with the theme five senses and this “What’s Missing?” activity was the perfect way to begin our month long exploration on the topic. This activity was designed for my 3-4’s class.
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I prepped this lesson by drawing on a large sheet of newsprint a picture of a girl. I colored her with markers and crayons, but you may have noticed that she has some missing body parts. That was certainly deliberate. Her five senses are missing from the picture. I drew her eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands on a separate sheet of newsprint and cut them out.
I laminated everything. Since the full body of the girl is larger than regular printer paper, I used contact paper to “laminate” her. This is not a step you can skip, especially if you plan to reuse your drawing. It must be laminated as well as her missing senses.
On the first day of our theme, I showed my preschool students the above picture of my girl. I began by just asking what they thought of my drawing. They all liked it. 😉 It was funny to watch their responses because while it is obvious to each of them that something is missing, it took a few seconds for the students to recognize what was wrong with her. Finally, they started saying things like, “Yeah, but she doesn’t have any eyes, silly!”
As the students began to identify what was missing from my drawing, I used double sided tape to adhere the sense in place on her. (This is why is is so important to laminate your drawing.) We went through all the senses, some of them being much more difficult than others to identify. For example, the nose and ears were the last and took a little more thought.
Finally, my drawing of the girl was complete. The students helped me add all her senses.
But, we were not finished. I asked the students why she needed all those extra parts we had just given her. Why did she need eyes and ears, hands, and a mouth and nose? Being that this class is made up of three-year-olds, some of the five senses were obvious to the students, and some were less obvious. I removed the eyes from the drawing and students knew right away that without eyes they cannot see. But, when I removed the hands from the girl, some students responded that without hands we can’t grab things. Close, but I really wanted my students to use the word “touch” to refer to the sense. Our discussion continued until all five senses had been identified with relation to their body part, and I described and defined the term “senses.”
I followed up out activity with the reading of the book My Five Senses. I managed to get a big book copy from our local library, which made it even more awesome., as the book was big enough to feel life size to my students. In fact, on one of the last pages of the book is a drawing of two hands, and the students loved putting their hands on the drawing and seeing they were almost the same size.
I have pinned this drawing to the wall, and the five sense body parts are in an envelope next to it. During free chose centers students have the option to give the girl her “missing senses”.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.