Creating a Senses Smash Journal
Sight Journal Page
I. What do I use to see?
II. What can I observe with my eyes?
- What size is it?
- What shape is it?
- What color is it?
When I first heard of Smash Journaling my thought was, "Teenage girls have been doing that for ages!" This is not to imply there is anything wrong with Smash Journaling. I actually enjoy the idea and that someone found a why to market it is phenomenal. Actually, I realized that I had already been doing some Smash Journaling with my little kindergartner. She was learning about her senses and we created a booklet about what she was learning.
Because we were only tackling the five senses we didn't need a whole journal. So I took several pieces of construction paper. (I let my daughter choose the colors.) We folded them in half and stapled them in the middle to form a booklet. I created a title for her. I simply said "Five Senses" and left space for her name. She glued it to her cover and decorated it with stickers and drawings.
Because sight is one of the easiest senses to grasp we started there. I began by asking her what we use to see. When we had established that our eyes allow us to see I helped her create a title for her sight page with the word "Sight" and a picture of eyes.
Next we talked about what we can observe with our eyes (because observation is one of the most important components of science). With a little direction she realized that we could use our eyes to observe size, shape and color. I then had her sort several images I'd pre-selected and cut by size, shape or color. These images could then be glued into her journal with appropriate labels.
Sound Journal Page
I. What do I use to hear?
II. What loud sounds have I heard?
III. What soft sounds have I heard?
IV. What high sounds have I heard?
V. What low sounds have I heard?
VI. What can I observe by hearing?
The next day we talked about hearing. But first we reviewed our previous sense: "We can see with our eyes. This is our sense of sight." After review we again started with the basics. "What do we use to hear?" I helped my daughter create a title for our new page using the word "Sound" and a picture of an ear (which she colored green - not sure why).
I pre-selected several images of sounds for her journal. (Images of sounds can be difficult to find and you may need to create some rather than simply cutting them from a magazine.) We began by sorting the images by loud and soft. Then we tackled the concept of high and low. This was a little more difficult for my daughter to grasp and I demonstrated several times. When she was clear on the concept we sorted our images by high and low before gluing them into the journal. Then my daughter had the idea of drawing smiley faces next to those images she liked and frowny faces next to those sounds she did not like. She wanted me to know which sounds were "good".
Smell Journal Page
I. What do I use to smell?
II. What do I like to smell?
III. What do I not like to smell?
IV. What can I observe by smelling?
The following day we again started with review. "We can see with our...eyes. This is our sense of...sight. We can hear with our...ears. This is our sense of...hearing." Then we rolled directly into smell. "We can smell with our what? Yes, nose. This is our sense of smell." At which point we again created a title for our page this time using a picture of a nose and the word "Smell".
Smell was a little tricky because we had to talk about how smells can move through the air. Using a perfume bottle I had her stand some distance away from me and then raise her hand when she could smell the perfume. (Naturally we had to trade places after the initial experiment.) While she found and drew images of smell we talked about how some smells make us hungry but others, even if they are good smells, do not. We also talked about how some bad smells can make us sick to our stomachs.
My daughter wanted an odoriferous "Smell" page so she found rose petals and orange peels to add to her page. She tried spraying the page with perfume (that's the discoloration) but decided a drawing would be easier to identify. Then she drew a skunk because she didn't want to show only good smells.
Before tackling the sense of taste we again reviewed all the previous senses. But we rushed the review a little because with the sense of taste I had prepared a taste test. I wanted my daughter to experience all four of the different tastes. (Unsweetened chocolate or baker's chocolate works well for bitter.) Using a blindfold I had her sample a couple of items from each of the four taste groups: sweet, sour, salty and bitter.
Taste Journal Page
I. What do I use to taste?
II. What sweet things have I tasted?
III. What sour things have I tasted?
IV. What salty things have I tasted?
V. What bitter things have I tasted?
VI. What can I observe by tasting? - Is it always safe to observe by tasting?
My daughter then drew each of the foods she'd sampled under the appropriate headings. However, you could also choose to have pre-printed images or for more discussion time have your child hunt through magazines for food images and discuss the various flavors. However, this might lead to confusion as most food have several flavors.
For the final sense, the sense of touch, I did a little preparation work. I found squares of sandpaper, silk, fur (fake), aluminum, a cotton ball and a sheet of paper with rice glued onto the surface. Then using the blindfold I had her touch the different objects and identify them as soft, hard, rough or smooth. We then talked about how we most often use our fingers for touching though we have nerves all over our body that can feel.
Then we made a label with the word "Touch" and an image of a hand. Using the items I had prepared my daughter sorted them and glued them to one half of the page. On the other half she glued her title and drew several of her own pictures of things she liked to touch (like our cat).
Touch Journal Page
I. What do I use to touch?
II. What can I observe by touching?
- Is is soft?
- Is is hard?
- Is is rough?
- Is it smooth?
Other than helping my daughter create titles and write words the journal was created entirely by a Kindergartner. As such it lacks a certain professionalism. However, it is an accurate reflection of what she learned about her senses. Moreover, it reinforced everything she learned as she created it. Her very first Smash Journal was a smashing success. (I just couldn't help the pun!)
I hope this inspires you to help your children create Smash Journals of their own. Go out and be creative with your kids. It's easier than you think.