Science - Pre assessment of the senses for preschool

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Pre - assessment

The children in the pre school class I am in are ranging in ages from 3 - 5. This makes it slightly more difficult to get an overall understanding of what the children know. Before this pre assessment I will assume that the children's differences in age will make a difference in what they know about their senses. I wanted to ask children what part of the body they would associate with each of the five senses. I worked individually with each child in the group. There are 5 children aged 3, 5 children aged 4 and 7 children aged 5. I had a picture of a body, which the children could color in. I asked the children to use an orange coloring pencil to show the parts of the body you use to touch with. I then asked the children to use a red coloring pencil to color in the part of the body you see with, an yellow color to color the show the part of the body you smell with, a blue color to show the part of the body you hear with, and a green color to show the part of the body you would use to taste with.



I was surprised to notice that most of the children in the class could do this very easily. The children could point and tell me where the parts of the body were as well as color them in with the correct color I had asked. I purposefully used colors that are not typically associated with that part of the body, such as blue or green for eyes and red for lips. One older child picked up on this saying 'why can't I color the eyes in blue' and 'why can't I color the lips in red'. This particular child said statements such as 'we use our ears to hear noises' and 'we use our mouths to taste nice foods'. The younger children could still use the correct colors to color in the correct parts of the body and could tell me what these parts of the body were. When I asked the three-year-old children what we use our noses for? What kind of things can we smell? They often got confused and could not tell me the answer. One child got confused with taste and smell. I was expecting to see this happen more often because of the links between smell and taste.


What sort of ideas do the majority of your class hold (ie: misconceptions, emerging or accurate)?

The majority of the students made emerging ideas. This was due to the fact that most knew instantly what part of the body was needed to hear, touch, taste, smell and see with.


What does this tell you about an appropriate starting point for your lesson planning?

I found that the children needed to start looking at the senses in a more complex way, instead of just saying what part of the body we use. For my interviews I would like to be able to see if they children can classify certain objects into the 5 senses. I will first start with taste. I will have pictures of objects. Children will have to sort the pictures into whether they can taste them or not. The pictures will be a pizza, house, vegetable, toy truck, a drink etc. I will then have a variety of pictures such as a radio, guitar, piano, hat, handbag, present. Children will sort these objects into whether they can hear them or not. Next will be smell. Children will sort objects such as bread, coffee, hat, alligator, fish, bag etc. The next will be sight, children will have sort objects into what they can see but they cannot touch. These pictures will be an airplane, flying bird, cloud, sun, ring, person. I am unsure if they children will be able to connect these pictures to the senses. I predict that the older children will be able to but not sure about the younger ones. I will use these activities with 2 different children for my interview.

What will you need to ask more about, to understand children's thinking more clearly?

I will ask more as stated above about the different senses and see if they can fully understand what they are.


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