Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fizz, Boom, Read! Preschool Story Time Starter: Five Senses

Though I'm not working in a library this summer, that hasn't stopped me from being inspired by the Fizz, Boom, READ! summer reading theme. Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a series of story time starters for preschoolers (roughly ages 3-5) on various science themes. Today's post is about the five senses, as this is the basis for all scientific exploration. I have included my preferred titles that I would use if I were to present this story time, as well as additional books related to the theme that can be substituted for any one of my recommendations. For each theme, I'll also be sharing any relevant extension activities, including rhymes, songs, and games.

Miss Katie's Recommended Books

  • My Five Senses by Aliki
    This book's simple text will make a nice introduction to the concept of the five senses for kids who aren't yet familiar with them. Encourage the kids to point to their own eyes, nose, and mouth, as the child in the pictures shows how he uses each of his parts to take in information about his world. The chart at the front of the book would also be fun to use for a discussion, if you'd rather not read through the entire book, or if your group is slightly older.
  • Senses at the Seashore by Shelley Rotner
    This book demonstrates each sense using a setting that is familiar to a lot of kids in my area - the beach. The eye-catching photos and simple text will help keep the kids focused and hopefully, some of them will have personal connections to the experiences portrayed in the pictures. Depending on your community and what the kids are familiar with, you might want to switch this book out for one of Rotner's other titles: Senses on the Farm or Senses in the City.
  • Rain by Manya Stojic
    This third book is an actual story in which the five senses play an integral role. A series of animals living in the African savanna anticipate a rainstorm, and make guesses about its arrival based on what they can see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.

Other Possible Books

Songs & Rhymes

  • Song: My Eyes Are Made for Seeing
    This song, sung to the tune of The Bear Went Over the Mountain, reminds us of the purpose of our eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and hands. Have the kids make suitable motions for each verse to make it truly interactive.
  • Flannel Board Rhyme: The Parts of the Body
    To share this rhyme, you will need flannel board pieces representing a bird, shovel, airplane, flower, street, and eating/talking, as well as pieces for each of the body parts mentioned. (KizClub has a set of body parts that would work nicely.) Have the kids guess each body part before you put it up. It might also be fun to provide each child with a body part to be brought to the board at the correct time.

Games & Activities

  • Poem: Ears Hear
    This poem is best shared with the higher end of the preschool age group. Ask the kids to make each sound you mention, and tell them not to be afraid to be loud. This poem works especially well with large or unusually rambunctious groups.
  • Guessing Game: What is that Smell?
    Prepare a few brown paper lunch bags, each containing an item with a distinct smell. Without allowing the kids to look in the bags, let them smell each one and guess what it is. Suggested smelly items include: chocolate, mint, lemon, garlic, cinnamon, etc. I would avoid truly gross smells - the idea is for the kids to enjoy the experience of new smells, and preschoolers are often not yet amused by truly disgusting humor.
  • Sorting Activity: Smooth or Rough? 
    Set out a tray of objects. Pass each one around and let the kids feel it. Have them tell you whether the object is smooth or rough. Suggested objects might be: sandpaper,  notebook paper, pine cone,  balloon, rocks, shells, etc. 
  • Game: I Spy
    Play a traditional game of I Spy. Have one child at a time describe something he or she can see in the room and have the other kids try to guess what it is. For the sake of time, this might work best in a smaller group - it also helps if your story room isn't too bland-looking, or there won't be much to choose from! (Make this game even more fun by creating cardboard magnifying glasses for the kids to use as they look for objects.)
  • Flannel Board Activity: 5 Senses from Miss Meg's Storytime
    This is a discussion-generating flannel board that encourages kids to think about how we interact with different objects using our senses. Meg provides a full set of instructions here.

Visit These Blogs for More Ideas

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