The priority during the beginning of the school year is to work on our comfort level separating from mom or dad during the school day, which is tough for many children. Develop our sense of classroom community and culture, including the culture of following our class rules. And as we work to grow in these areas, we spend a good deal of time talking about ourselves. We have been focusing on our physical self recently. Each day this week we have been talking about one of our five senses. Children have made keen observations about how bumpy the bubble wrap feels, how cinnamon smells like a tree, how we hear the wind outside on the playground, and how smoothe the clay feels in our hands. I've been so impressed with the many descriptive words flowing in conversation. Below are a few photos of our smelling experiment from today.
I filled beakers with cinnamon sticks, garlic, cloves, itallian seasoning, coffee, and tea. We took turns sniffing, making predictions, and talking about which sents we liked and which we didn't. Some children made connection with scent and food saying that the cinnamon smelled like apple pie and the garlic smelled like pizza. Very advanced noses!
When we were through smelling, I asked children to draw their favorite smell. Most opted for an observational drawing of the scent-filled beaker, like C's drawing above who chose coffee and wanted to know how to spell "coffee is good." However, one student drew a picture of what cinnamon reminded her of - clouds and mountains.
In our speedy digital age, having the ability and know-how to tap into the senses is imperative. Being able to simply be aware of the moment, through the senses, will help children as well as adults stay grounded, steady, and calm. I encourage you to make this a practice at home. Next time you're walking home or outside with your child talk with them about all of the sights, sounds, and smells. When cooking, taste ingredients and talk about their flavors. Take advantage of each perfect moment.