Exploring the Senses

 

Go to the following Friday's In the Lab web site for instructions on the Two-point discrimination, Olfactory Fatigue and Visual preception.

Jelly Bean Taste Protocol

 

RELATED LINKS:

Kimball's Biology Pages

A Sense of Taste - by David V. Smith and Robert F. Margolskee, Scientific American, March 2001.

Seeing with your tongue 


 

Please post comments on the session in the forum below.

Comments

Susan Dorfman's picture

Report Forms for Delivery Systems Exercise

Here is the link to the two report forms

for Scratch and sniff activity

for extract in containers of different wall thickness

Susan Dorfman's picture

Report Forms for Delivery Systems Exercise

Here is the link to the two report forms

for Scratch and sniff activity

for extract in containers of different wall thickness

bronstein's picture

Jelly beans and the senses

Okay, I haven't said very much lately. I guess not too much has struck a chord yet. I will say that the jelly bean experiment really got to me. Holding my nose I popped in a red bean and . . . tasted . . . nothing! Then I let go of my nose and tasted the cinnamon almost immediately. I pinched it off again and immediately lost all taste. I thought that was amazing. Letting go again, the taste returned.

I may use this during the year. It will be the only time I let the kids eat in the room. No food is ever allowed in a chem room or lab as far as I'm concerned.

The other 2 experiments I observed and helped with, but didn't take a turn. I think I got the point and may use a variation of the touch one for an "outside activity." The odor sensing one my group has modified and will use tomorrow. If it looks successful, I will be happy to use it, as well -- esp. since I am one of the developers.

Deesha Lockett's picture

Exploring the senses

I enjoyed the session today. Everything was very enlightening and beneficial to me. I can see how the experiments can be used as a foundation for other types of lessons to introduced the use and importance of our senses. I particularly like the one using the jelly beans. It helped to bring out the fact that the sense of smell and taste are very much dpendent on one another. I also enjoyed the interaction in working in the group and will be looking forward to see how the group participates in our presentation.
Barbara Kauffman's picture

Using The Senses To Develop Writing Skills

The writing/science activity that uses the five senses is most appopriate for my 4th graders. Children, as well as adults, can learn alot by using their senses to help associate words with their experiences. I can utilize it in my class as a group activity to facilitate cooperative learning. My Blog has a lesson on USING THE SENSES TO WRITE A DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY.

bronstein's picture

Developing Writing Skills

Thank you. I almost forgot that your comments and Tola's talk did resonate with me. Joyce's comments also hit home. If we are to get students to metacognate, it helps for us to force them to write down their thoughts and observations. There are 3 reasons I can see:

     1. It forces them to verbalize vague thoughts and feelings, which help them to understand them.

     2. It prevents them from saying that they had other opinions as soon as they hear "the smart kid" give his views.

     3. It will also help them to formulate arguments to support their position -- or realize, in trying to do so, that their position doesn't hold water. In that case they will endeavor to find a better one that they can support, thereby becoming "less wrong."

jrlewis's picture

thoughts from the brain and behavior institute

Love the debate about brain washing.  Makes me reconsider a lot of concepts discussed in the Brain and Behavior Institute.  I learned that teachers can not completely control the input to a student’s brain.  The brain is capable of generating its own input.  Therefore, teachers can not control the nervous system output either. Could this explain, certain perceived educational frustration and failure? Might brain washing be impossible for the same reasons?
Paul Grobstein's picture

brain washing and education

Yep, I suspect the ability of the nervous system to generate its own inputs leads to lots of teacher frustration. It can, of course, also help teachers if they let it. And yes, I suspect the same thing makes us resistant to brain washing. But, its also true that teachers/the educational system can discourage people from generating their own input, which would make them more vulnerable to brain washing?
Teresa Albers's picture

Senses

The exercises for the senses were very interesting and somewhat applicable to the early childhood classroom. Children could experience their extinguished sense of smell, just to learn if something smells for too long, our nose stops smelling it. They would also love the jelly bean activity. I am not sure about the calipers and touch, some children would be afraid of being touched. It might be better to just blindfold the children let them identify two-three items as they are placed on various places on their hands and arms are touched.

Young children are highly sensorially oriented and enjoy playing with their senses. I got a lot of nice ideas today, and was stimulated to expand the activities we use in the classroom. I think I need to create more open-ended inquiry activities for each sense. Tonight, I hope to brainstorm the ideas for these activities so as to strike while the iron is hot!

Wonderful, thought provoking day. Thanks very much.

jrlewis's picture

thoughts for this morning

Great group conversation this morning, a lot of people participating.  I was especially impressed by the duration.  Wil has a fantastic talent for facilitating conversation.  He is able to sustain discourse without redirecting or repeating points.  Glad to see so many members of the group participating and interacting with one another. 
Babtunde A Oronti's picture

Sense of touch.

I've used a modified version of this activity in my Anatomy class and the students were very excited about it. In our own situation, we used tooth picks and we tested for sensitivity in the back/front of their palms, fingertips, back/front of the neck, arm, legs, upper and lower lips.

We found out that the lips and the fingertips are more sensitive than other parts we tested. My students were able to make two connections in real life situations to this.

1. Blind people are able to "see" with touch sensory receptors on their

fingetips.

2. Kissing on the lips is more sensitive and romantic than other part of the body.
Susan Dorfman's picture

Exploring the senses

These activities remind me of the importance of starting any unit of study in biology with a kinesthetic experience.

The two point touch activity is one I have used sucessfully with Grade 7 bio students using a clay disk with dissecting pins. I like better the calipers as the tool. Students enjoy using tools that appear scientific, and the callipers are condusive to quantitative recording in their lab notebooks. Today, we examined the difference in sensory experience as the tester moves the calliper from middle of the lower inner arm to the wrist to the palm to the finger to finger tip. This would be a tighter experiment for the students than the more scattered approach I have used in the past. Once they appreciate the difference degrees of sensation in the arm, we could extend the activity to other parts of the body such as lips because of the discussion we could have about the adaptive advantage of having more sensitive areas of the body.

The activity with hot and cold touch on the arm would be difficult for my Grade 7 bio students. They would not be careful enough to avoid dripping water all over the arm to be able to get a clear diagram of temperature drawn on the arm with the different colors of pens. They would be able to record the sensation of temperatures as the tester moves along the inner arm from right below the elbow joint to the wrist to the palm to the finger tips.

The jelly bean activity to exemplify the cooperation among smell, taste, and vision would be very well received by Grade 7 bio students. I will continue to use the test comparing a slice of raw apple and a slice of raw bakig potato. Both are grainy in texture, and without sight and smell, "taste" the same. I would start with the potato-apple example which is very stark and then go to the jellybean example which is more subtle and more fun. The comparison of different types of chocolate would be effective with older high school or college age students.

joycetheriot's picture

Questioning olfaction differences between humans and animals

smelly cat smelly cat

Students can explore sensitivity between different animals including humans.

smell cartoon

Cynthia Henderson's picture

sense of smell

I used my prior knowledge to assess the type of chocolate I was tasting and smelling.My taste discrimination was prompted by texture also.
joycetheriot's picture

Students enjoy investigating how we smell

smellStudents can investigate processes of smell

Brain-smell connectionsBrain-smell connections

joycetheriot's picture

Smell connections

For my physics-chem students I would investigate the perfume samples in magazines, have students bring in some as well. Then we'd question how these smells are able to be 'kept' in the sample packets. Perhaps testing the time that the fragrance lasts in a variety of packets and eventually discussing microencapsulation. We have strict district rules about food and drink in labs.
LuisanaT's picture

All chocolate is chocolate?

For me, the smell of each piece of chocolate fused together with one another and I was only able to easily distinguish between the chocolates with the biggsest prevent this from occuring in the activity would be to give the pieces one at a time, providing enough time in between to make observations independent of the other pieces. After distributing the last piece, the observations can be organized in reference to one another instead of mistaking one for another.

Despite that little difficulty, I noticed myself:

Feeling the smooth, rich, texture and very milky taste of the 1st

Feeling the moist, milky taste of the 2nd

Tasting the dark and semi-milky taste of the 3rd

Flinching to number 4, which I felt was the most bitter piece of extra dark chocolate

Not flinching to the 5th, which is suppose to be the most intense piece, because it only had a hint of the extreme chocolate. The 5th also felt very dry


 

Susan Dorfman's picture

Chocolate in the morning

The actvity involved the tasting of five different types of chocolate. This was a good choice for adults who would be familiar with the experience of tasting chocolate in food.

1 2
3 4
5

lightest in

color

light

color

dark

color

darkest

color

dark color

like #4

Smoothest

feeling in

mouth

smooth

much less

smooth

not at

all smooth

grainy feeling

in mouth

soft to

the bite

soft to

the bite

less soft

harder to bite

and dense

hard and dense
creamy less creamy
not creamy
slightly bitter
very bitter

complex complex less purer purest

flavor flavor complex flavor flavor

 

Barbara Kauffman's picture

Exploring The Senses

Number 1 chocolate gave me a smooth and mellow sensation when I bit into it.

I wanted to have more and more of it.

Number 2 chocolate tasted somewhat bitter. It wasn't a pleasant taste.

Number 3 chocolate tasted a bit more stronger than Number 2 and I didn't think it was pleasant to the taste.

Number 4 chocolate was super bitter and it was the most unpleasant taste for me. It tasted like coffee without the cream and sugar that I drink at a fast food restaurant. Yuk!

Ayotola Oronti's picture

Describing the taste of chocolate

                      Variety of Chocolates 

#1 tastes sweet and creamy, regular creamy chocolate

#2 tastes sweet and milky. I could also taste buttermilk in it.

#3 is sweet in the beginning but with a slightly bitter after taste. I could taste raw cocoa in it.

#4 is just bitter, no taste of sugar but it has an after taste that is like alcohol.

#5 is strongly bitter, has a strong residual taste too and is mouth watery.

  Tola

Deesha Lockett's picture

Exploring the senses

#1 sweet, milk chocolate

#2 slightly bitter, dark chocolate

#3 more bitter

#4 very bitter

 

 

 

Babtunde A Oronti's picture

The Senses.

1. 1. Smell: Ferment Taste: Yoghurt

 

2. 2. Smell: Not too evident Taste: Sweet/Creamy

 

3. 3. Smell: Not too evident Taste: Sour/bitter after taste

 

4. 4. Smell: Not too evident Taste: Bitter/Creamy

 

5. 5. Smell: Alcohol Taste: Bitter/sharp

Barbara Kauffman's picture

Exploring The Senses

Number 1 chocolate gave me a smooth and mellow sensation when I bit into it.

I wanted to have more and more of it.

Number 2 chocolate tasted somewhat bitter. It wasn't a pleasant taste.

Number 3 chocolate tasted a bit more stronger than Number 2 and I didn't think it was pleasant to the taste.

Number 4 chocolate was super bitter and it was the most unpleasant taste for me. It tasted like coffee without the cream and sugar that I drink at a fast food restaurant. Yuk!

Teresa Albers's picture

Describing Chocolate

Here are some words for describing chocolate:

sweet intense deep euphoric fragrant bitter intense

medicinal smooth relaxing bodied light heavy important

intoxicating waxy stimulating adhesive divine brown

light dark


Thanks, Teresa

bronstein's picture

The 4 chocolates

#1 Hershey's milk: smoothe, flavorful, light

     #2 Also practically milk choc, but with another taste that I didn't find enjoyable.

     #3 Dark choc, good but not so good as hershey's special dark or the Venezuelan 60% choc

     #4 Very dark w/ high cacao % (above 72%, but it tastes like there is some added flavor, perhaps a light fruit flavor like peach or papaya or mango.

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