Exploring the Senses…
September 9, 2008- Part I
In class III today, the teacher continued with the unit ‘Our body’. Today, she brought a teaching aid with her. It was a big illustrated chart which read ‘Human Physiology’ or ‘Manav Shareer rachana’ in Hindi which I thought, looked a little advanced. The teacher started off by reflecting on what they had covered in the previous class. Then she pointed out that the entire body is supported by bones. She then demonstrated the finger puppet activity in the text book which involves putting your hand under a handkerchief and tying a rubber band as indicated in the textbook (page 26). The activity is designed to introduce the idea of bones and the range of actions possible with them. It would have been very easy for the students to do it own their own…
The teacher then pointed out that some parts of the body cannot be moved. She took the nose as an example. ‘Why can’t you move the nose?’ she asked. One of our little friends responded; ‘because the nose does not have joints!’ Having been blessed with a highly expressive nose myself, I wondered at that comment. Also, aren’t an elephant’s nose and upper lip modified into a highly mobile trunk which is largely made of muscle? (see figure below), Can’t we blink and wink our eyes?.. Discussions in a primary Science classroom can take highly unpredicatable paths, I thought.
Next, the teacher introduced the ‘Smell and tell’ activity. She called one of the students to the front of the class, closed his eyes and made him smell a chalk. The child responded in a fraction of a second, ‘chalk’!. Then the teacher asked the students to guess what their tiffins were by smelling what they had brought for lunch. Most of the students already knew what they had brought. So I suggested that they do a modification of the activity which involves guessing blindfolded what ones neighbour has brought for lunch. It was however a raucous activity and therefore all children were not permitted to carry out the task.
—- Aswathy Raveendran