Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Senses Brownie Scout Try-it

Sense of Sight

Now You See It
We made the optical illusion in the manual. We took a piece of plain cardboard and cut it into a square. Turned it so it looked like a diamond. Then we drew a fishbowl on one side and a fish drawn in the middle on the opposite side. Secure diamond to a pencil with tape.

Put pencil between your hands and twirl back and forth. The fish gives the optical illusion that it is in the fishbowl.

Sense of Hearing

Experiment 1: Blindfold. The other person tiptoes around the room and makes sounds, the blindfolded person uses hearing to locate the person.

Experiment 2: Turn some music or tv on low. Go to the other side of the room and listen to it. Then cup your hands around the outside of your ears and see if it gets louder.

We read Hear this! An exciting way to learn about your senses by Sally Hewitt. This book was full of great experiments (so we did way more than I originally planned, oh, the joys of homeschool).

How the Eardrum Works. Pull plastic wrap over top of a bowl, tightly. Put some rice on top. Bang a pan down close to the rice. You will see the rice "jump" from the vibrations just like the stretchy eardrum.

High and Low Sounds. Put water in a glass and tap with a spoon. Drink a drink of water and tap again (continue till the glass is empty). Does the sound get higher or lower as the water level gets lower? (Higher)

Near and Far. Make an old fashioned telephone. This didn't work very well for us, oh maybe that's because my head is still ringing from her yelling into my ear!

Making a Better Ear

We discussed different animals and the ways their ears are. I asked Shayla what animal she thought would hear the best. She thought animals with stand up ears, like a rabbit or horse.

We were going to design a new ear, but she thought it would be better to use this tube toy she has. It worked great until she decided to yell in my ear. UGH! My head is still ringing!

After she finished her timeout, we discussed the big ear exhibit at COSI.

Vibrations. This was from an old Family Fun magazine. Take a metal clothes hanger and tie 2 pieces of 20" long string to each end. At the other end of the string, make loops for fingers. Put your fingers in the loops and put your fingers in your ears.

Yes, Shayla, this time I am actually encouraging you to plug your ears.

Bump into things with the hanger (ie..a couch, a table, etc). You will feel the vibrations. Cool!

We also discussed why we sound different on tape than in person (because of vocal cord vibrations).

Finally we watched Here hear!

Sense of Touch

We watched a short video called The Skin I'm In.

We played a fun game called What's in Ned's Head. You have to close your eyes and stick your hand in to find gross objects, like Ned's dirty Qtip.

Can You Feel It?
Get two bags and put identical objects in each bag. We used spoons, socks, gloves, beans, coins, etc. Close your eyes. Reach in bag - without looking! Find the matching objects using your sense of touch.
Sense of Smell
Only the Nose Knows
I put items in several small cups (vanilla, cinnamon, lemon, baby powder). Cover eyes with a blindfold. See if you can figure out the objects using only your sense of smell. It's harder than it seems. Shayla did not get any of these correct! The second try she got two correct.
Sense of Taste
Mapping the Tongue
The handbook, as well as other books suggested blindfolding eyes and tasting different things. We didn't do that. Instead we did a worksheet from here.
Why didn't we do the hands-on experiments this time?
Well, first off, I have a picky eater.
Secondly, our food allergies make it impossible to eat most things that are recommended.
We did read some interesting figures. Did you know that a baby is born with around 10,000 taste buds. An adult only has around 9,000. An elderly person has 33% less. Interesting, maybe this is why so many kids are picky eaters. Because they can actually taste the stuff they're putting into their mouths. Maybe this is why they stop when they are full, too.
What's It Like?
What's it like to be missing one or more of your senses? We discussed Helen Keller, we watched a Signing Time DVD and we learned and did the Girl Scout Promise in sign.

We definately enjoyed working the senses badgework into our homeschool. I found an awesome book called Stop, Look & Listen: Using Your Senses from Head to Toe by Sarah Williamson. I was already into this theme when I found it. Maybe I will use it again sometime.

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