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The Five Senses: Keeping Us Healthy

When you think of your five senses, you might think of the sweet, juicy taste of watermelon; the soft, downy fur of a puppy; the sound of your favorite song playing on the radio; or the vibrant colors and smells of freshly cut flowers. Your five senses-sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell-allow you to enjoy the world around you.

However, do you ever think of your five senses as an important part of keeping you safe and healthy? For example, if you were to prick your finger on a sewing needle, your sense of touch would signal your brain to pull your hand away before you drew blood. If you left a pot of soup on the stove, your sense of smell would alert you to a problem in the kitchen before the house burned down. The five senses are actually nerve endings that relay important information to the brain and allow you to respond in appropriate ways.

This activity will show you how to use the Internet to find valuable facts about the five senses and their role in keeping you safe and healthy.

After exploring these sites and completing the questions, you will be able to

  • describe how the senses work
  • identify the important parts of the sensory systems.
  • explain the functions of the sensory systems.
  • use your knowledge to teach others about one of the five senses.

Try This: Choose one of the five senses that you read about, and create a bulletin board that uses both words and pictures to teach the sensory system you have chosen. Be sure to explain how the sensory system works as well as how it helps to keep us safe and healthy. Make sure that your board is appropriate for display in an elementary school classroom.


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Visit this Web site to read about the sense of sight. Name three parts of the eye, and describe the function of each. What is the difference between rods and cones in the eye?

At these Web sites, you can learn about the sense of hearing. Describe how the ears hear sounds. Name the three bones in the ear. What are two types of hearing loss?

Visit these Web sites to learn about the sense of taste. What is another term for the sense of taste? What are the four basic tastes? Which of your other senses helps you taste different flavors?

At this Web site, you can find out more about the sense of touch. What are the three layers of skin? What is the function of nerve endings in the skin? How do these nerve endings help you stay safe?

At these Web sites, you can read about the sense of smell. What is the name of the system responsible for the sense of smell? Name the parts of the nose. How many different odors can most people smell?

Once you have explored these links and answered the questions, you are ready to design your bulletin board. Your bulletin board should

  • incorporate information from the Web sites in a creative way.
  • present accurate information and examples about one of the five senses.
  • identify the role that sense plays in our health and safety.
  • provide facts that are interesting and appropriate for elementary school children.


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Teen Health Course 3