Monday, May 3, 2010

Observation: The Sense of Touch

Observations can be made with any of our senses (though, we tend to avoid the sense of taste in the science lab). This activity gives students a chance to test their sense of touch.

Number a bunch of socks with a permanent marker. Place a household item (non-breakable) into each sock.

Students will use their sense of touch to identify the objects. Students can feel the objects through the sock or, if the socks are long enough, reach their hand into the sock to feel the object without looking at it.

You can have students record their findings in any number of ways:
1. A list of words describing the object.
2. A sketch of the object's shape.
3. A hypothesis as to what the object is.

I often have students make a data table that incorporates 2 or all 3 of these pieces
of data (along with the sock number).

I like to have enough socks so that there's one for each student. To keep things moving and in order, I'll call out when it's time to switch socks, at which time, all the socks will move to the next person.

After students have observed all socks, I'll ask for their hypotheses for each sock number. Then I'll reveal what was actually inside.

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