Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Altogether Now, The Five Senses

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Popping popcorn is a fun way to summarize the end of the five senses unit. It is easy to involve all the senses.


The student uses strategies to comprehend text (for example, retelling, discussing, asking questions).

The student knows patterns of sound in oral language (for example, rhyming, choral poetry, chants).

The student counts up to 10 or more objects using verbal names and one-to-one correspondence.

The student knows that matter exists in different states (solid, liquid, gas).

The student knows that the five senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight) allow us to take in and respond to information in order to learn about our surroundings.

The student understands that history tells the story of people and events of other times and places.


-[Come and See: A Christmas Story], by Mayper, Harpercollins Juvenile Books, 1999 (or any other book that tells about the birth of Jesus)
-Bag of popcorn kernels
-Popcorn popper
-Napkins (enough for each student)
-Chart paper
-Poem: Senses Work in Harmony, [Songs and Rhymes], The Education Center, 1999
-Globe or wall map
-[The Story of Ferdinand] by Leaf and Lawson, Viking Press,
-"Popcorn Song," by Nancy Byrd Turner, Literature Resources
-Santa Bear, Santa Bear, Use Your Five Senses (Summative Assessment)
-"Discovering My World" and "Popcorn Song" written on chart paper (See Associated file)


1. Write the two poems "Discovering Our World" and "Popcorn Song" on chart paper.

2. Bring in popcorn, salt, napkins, and an air popper. (I always ask volunteers to send them in.)

3. Have the books [Come and See: A Christmas Story], and [The Story of Ferdinand] out ready to read.

4. A globe or wall map is needed to show students Florida and Bethlehem.

5. Duplicate Summative Assessment #2 for each student.


Lesson 7, Day 12

It is a good idea to have a parent volunteer come in to help with the popcorn popping. An extra pair of hands helps the lesson move smoothly especially when it comes to serving food.

1. Introduce the lesson with the poem "Discovering My World." Read it together several times so students become familiar with it. Talk about the meaning and how students learn best about their world when they use all of their five senses.

*Review words on the Word Wall by playing “I’m Thinking of a Word." The teacher gives clues until a student correctly guesses the word. Then the student goes to the Word Wall and points to it. For example: I’m thinking of a word that begins with “t.” It is one of the five senses. A person uses the tongue with this sense. Yes, the correct answer is taste.

*Ask a student to point to the word on the Word Wall and then use it in a sentence. Now tell them all five senses will be explored in today’s lesson.

2. Pass a container of popcorn kernels around and allow students to make observations: How do the kernels feel? Do the kernels smell? Describe their appearance. Ask which sense students are using to make observations. Identify taste and hearing as the two senses not yet used. Ask students to suggest ways to include the senses of hearing and taste. Someone is sure to suggest that you pop the popcorn!

3. As the popcorn is popped, ask which sense is being used which was not used in observing the popcorn kernels. Identify the sense of hearing. Do students detect an odor now? Identify the sense used. Ask students to describe the change in appearance of the popcorn.

*Salt the popcorn and ask which sense has not been used yet?

*Give children a handful, tell them to taste it and ask students to describe how the popcorn tastes.

*Have students name each sense used for this activity and explain how each sense was used. Read and recite the poem "Popcorn Popping" using the concepts of print.

*Ask students to identify the sound pattern in this poem. Some formative feedback may sound like: Alright! I see you really understand the sound of "P"! Some constructive feedback may sound like: Let’s practice this again. (Recite the Popcorn Popping poem; have students point to the “p” every time it is said. Make “p’s” in the air with fingers; Make a sign language “p.” Think of other words that begin with “p.”)

4. Now ask students to count out five pieces of popcorn (observing one-to-one correspondence). Talk about other ways to show the number five with the popcorn. Model some examples: 4 pieces and 1 piece are equal to five pieces, 2 pieces and 3 pieces are the same as 5, etc…

*Ask students to show you other examples. Walk around and observe students as they make other numbers equivalent to five.

*Provide students with formative feedback: You are on the right track! You know the ways to make 5. For those who do not have an understanding of this concept continue to work with them. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the key.

*When all observations are complete, students are to eat all the popcorn at their tables and throw napkins away.

5. Pass out the Santa Bear, Santa Bear, Use Your Five Senses book. Read from the beginning together, pausing at places where students were to write their answers.

*Emphasize the importance of making sure they have answers on every page because I will be using this book to see how much you have learned in this unit. Now turn to page 9 – Read the words together. What word goes in this blank? I have ____ to see with? Write the word or draw a picture. Students can use the word bank to help them. I have _____to hear with. I have skin to ______with. I have a ______to smell with. I have a tongue to ________with. And…

Page 10 – I use them to______________________. Think of the words in your head and write the sounds you hear or dictate your words to the teacher.

*Now draw a Christmas picture for that page. Make sure the picture and words you wrote match. Take up the books when students are finished because this is the Summative Assessment #1. You are to summatively assess the Santa Bear book when it is complete. Use the checklist for scoring. (See Extensions)

6. Next tell students that during this unit we have related the senses activities to Christmas because is special and different from other times in the year. But do they know the history of Christmas and why we celebrate it? History means something that has happened in the past or long ago. For example, the day they were born five or six years ago is an event in history.

*Also the Pilgrims coming to America on the Mayflower is an example of people and events from other places in history along with Christopher Columbus. Remember when we celebrated Columbus Day? Good, that is history. We celebrate Christmas because of a special event called the birth of Jesus Christ.

7. Introduce the book [Come and See: A Christmas Story] . Take a picture walk. Point out the type of clothing the people are wearing, transportation, and their houses.

*Discuss how different they seem from what we have today. Read and discuss the story.

*Ask if this place different from where we live? How do they know? (Formatively assess student answers.)

*Show students on a wall map or globe where Florida is and where Bethlehem is. Draw the conclusion that not only is this huge event about people from another time, but also in another place.

*Have students get with a partner and retell the story in their own words. Retell means to tell again in your own way. For example, retell the [Story of Ferdinand]. Hold up the book to jog student’s memory.

*Now assign each student to tell the beginning or the ending of the story. Each part together tells the whole story. The teacher should walk around listening for important beginning details like: Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem on a donkey to pay taxes. Mary and Joseph had to sleep in a stable where Jesus was born. He laid in a manger, not a crib or bassinet. The angels went to the shepherds and said “Come and see.” The shepherds alerted the townspeople in the middle of the night pointing to the brilliant star. And ending details like: The people went from their houses to follow the shepherds. The shepherds brought skins of milk; the innkeeper, bread and wine; and the people ate and celebrated, ending in a quiet circle dance around the stable.

*Give thumbs up for those telling it correctly and redirect with clues from the story for those who are not. For those who have difficulty retelling have them listen to the book on tape again at the listening center.

Lesson 7, Day 13 of A “Sense”sational Christmas

1. Review the five senses from all the poems and songs from this unit. Take a look at the words in the word bank and discuss them briefly. Be sure to review the terms handicapped and special needs. Include a review of all the standards.

2. Give Summative #2. (See Extensions.) The teacher will read all directions to the students. Students mark correct answer by circling the picture.


Day 12
Formatively assess the students' understanding of the five senses and how they allow us to take in and respond to information in order to learn about our surroundings by orally assessing the answers students give in #3. Name each sense and how it was used during the popcorn activity. 1) Sight-describe what it looks like, 2) smell-describe what it smells like, 3) touch-describe how it feels, 4) hearing-describe what it sounds like while it is popping, and 5) taste-describe the taste.

Formatively assesses the students' knowledge of patterns of sound in oral language by looking for the sound of "p" as the answer.

Formatively assess the students' understanding that history tells the story of people and events of other times and places by answers given by students in #7 in the procedure section. Specifically looking for people: Mary, Joseph, Jesus, place: Bethlehem, event: birth of Jesus.

Formatively assess how the students’ represent equivalent forms of the number 5 using popcorn to manipulate the numbers in activity #4. Specifically look for: 4 &1, 1 & 4, 3 & 2, 2 &3, 5 & 0, and 0 & 5.

Formatively assesses the students' retelling of [Come and See: A Christmas Story] by listening to student partners retell either the beginning or end of the story.

Summatively assess students' understanding of the five senses and how they allow us to take in and respond to information in order to learn about our surroundings by completing the Santa Bear, Santa Bear Use Your Five Senses. Use the checklist to assess students' understanding of the unit. (See Extensions)

Day 13
Summatively assess the other standards in the unit by using Summative Assessment 2. (See Extensions).


The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, (if any).

1. String popcorn and hang it on the tree.

2. Read [The Popcorn Book], by de Paola, Scholastic, Inc, NY, 1978

Attached Files

Two poems to use with this lesson.     File Extension: pdf

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