Hands-on Activity: Touch and Discover
Educational Standards :
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
Materials List (Return to Contents)
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
How would you describe a tomato? (Listen to student suggestions.) Well, if you are looking at the tomato, the physical characteristics can be described as red and round. But, what if you could not see the tomato and could only describe it by touch? (Listen to student suggestions.) Then you could describe it as smooth and hard or soft, depending on how ripe it is. Would you be able to guess the object was a tomato if you held it in your hands while blindfolded? (Maybe smelling it would help!)
How else could you describe a tomato? Is it a natural-made or human-made object? What is a tomato used for? There are many ways to classify objects and put them into groups. With today's activity, you will sharpen your observation and descriptive skills.
Vocabulary/Definitions (Return to Contents)
Procedure (Return to Contents)
Objects have certain characteristics that permit them to be grouped with similar objects, and that grouping can help us understand and use these objects.
Review the definition of characteristics. Provide examples, such as living, non-living, natural, human-made, etc.
Review how objects can be grouped, such as by size, color, shape, weight, use, texture. For example: all these objects are brown or all these objects can be eaten or all these objects can roll.
Review examples of descriptive words (a good way to tie English and language skills into the sciences) that express observations made by the senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste).
Before the Activity
With the Students
Divide the class into pairs (or small groups) of students, and hand out the blindfolds.
Begin the Activity:
Attachments (Return to Contents)
Safety Issues (Return to Contents)
Investigating Questions (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
Concluding Class Discussion: Lead a class discussion to review results and compare experiences. Ask students the following questions. The basic idea is that objects have certain characteristics that allow them to be grouped as similar objects, and that grouping can help you to understand and use these objects.
Activity Extensions (Return to Contents)
Extend the activity by asking students to each bring five objects from home. As a class, group and re-group them according to common characteristics.
Combine this activity with a lesson on animal classification.
Have students each describe an object to the class. This helps students develop language and descriptive skills and as well as listening and visualization skills.
Continue as a matching game, in which each blindfolded child matches what s/he feels with an object from a group of objects that s/he can see.
Activity Scaling (Return to Contents)
This activity can be easily modified to be suitable for different age groups. And, as students become more experienced, you can make it more challenging.
References (Return to Contents)
Gutierrez, Charles. The Touch n Feel Box Lesson. Academy Curricular Exchange Columbia Education Center Science. Accessed October 24, 2011. http://ofcn.org/cyber.serv/academy/ace/sci/cecsci/cecsci153.html
Copyright© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2004 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, Tufts University
Last Modified: August 29, 2014