Year 1 Science

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Pancakes: The Five Senses


Your body can sense the world around it using your five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. You can see with your eyes to let you know how big things are and what colour things are. Did you know that some animals can't see colours? Badgers and cats are two types of animals that can't see colours, but their eyes are better than ours at seeing things in the dark.

You hear with your ears. You can hear music and pleasant sounds, like a bird singing or someone reading to you. You can hear loud and quiet sounds and the beat of music. You can hear a lot but some animals, like dogs, can hear more than you. Other animals can't hear at all: the bee never hears its own buzzing because it is deaf and cannot hear anything.

You smell with your nose. Smells can be pleasant, like the scent of a rose or the smell of pancakes cooking or bread baking. What smells good to you? Some smells can be unpleasant, like a car's exhaust fumes or the odour of a rotten piece of fruit. You can smell a lot, but dogs can smell even more than you can. Have you ever noticed how dogs like to sniff almost anything? Have you ever heard of dogs that can help find people who have become lost in the woods or the snow? The dogs do this by using their sense of smell.

You taste with your tongue. Look in a mirror and stick out your tongue. See how it's covered with little bumps? Those little bumps have tiny parts that are taste buds that tell you what things taste like: sweet like an ice cream, sour like a lemon, salty like crisps or bitter like unsweetened cocoa. Your sense of smell also helps you taste things. Have you noticed that it's hard to taste things when you have a bad cold? Why do you think this happens? What's your nose like when you have a bad cold?

Your fifth sense is your sense of touch. You touch things to feel them. What do you feel if you pet a cat or a dog? If you rub a piece of sandpaper? If you step barefoot on the grass? You feel by touching with your hands, and with the skin all over the rest of your body.

Making (and eating!) pancakes are a fun way to teach children about the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, small, touch and taste. You can ask questions such as:

This activity is adapted from pages 264 -265 of What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

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