Elementary School Lesson Plan – Interactive Activities to Learn How Animals Use Their Senses to Survive

Exploring the World Through Your Senses

The goal of the "Use Your Senses" lesson is to teach students how different animals explore the environment. Through hearing, touch and scent activities the students learn to interact with the environment in the same way different animals do. "Use Your Senses" is an outdoor activity that can be done in a playground, at a park, or any outdoor area. The outdoor area should be as natural as possible.

Hearing Activities

Hearing Activity 1

Have the students sit down on the ground in a circle and close their eyes. Instruct them to remain still and listen carefully for signs of wildlife and nature. After the students listen for two minutes, instruct them to open their eyes. Call on students to describe what they have heard. They may have heard things like insects, birds, leaves rustling in the tress, or cats and dogs. Discuss with the students how animals use their sense of hearing to hunt and survive.

Hearing Activity 2

Next, pair the students up into groups of two. Have one student in each group sit down on the ground with their eyes closed. Have the other student in the group stand near the sitting student. In this activity, when the teacher says "move" the standing student walks in circles around the sitting student. When the teacher says "stop", the standing student stands still. Each sitting student (whose eyes are still closed) then has to guess if the standing student is in front of them, beside them, or behind them.

Touch Activity

Have each student sit down with their eyes closed. Pass an object around to each student and allow them to feel the object. Once each student has had a chance to feel the object, hide the object and allow the students to open their eyes. Ask the students to guess what the object was. Discuss with the students how animals use their sense of touch to navigate their environment.

Scent Activity

Pass a potpourri sachet around to the students, allowing each of them to smell it. Instruct the students to use their sense of smell to find an identical smelling potpourri sachet that you have previously hidden. (It is best to contain the search area to a fairly small area.) Discuss with the students the many ways that animals use their sense of smell to survive.