Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Give Me Five at Christmas Time

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Students become aware of their senses by taking a walking field trip, creating a word bank, reading a story and singing a song. This is the first lesson in A “Sense”sational Christmas unit that also includes a diagnostic assessment.


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.


-Chart paper
-2 markers, any color
-[The Five Sense (It's About Science)] By Sally Hewitt, Children’s Press, 1999 (or any other book about the five senses)
-"Singing the Senses" song, Penni Flood, [The Best of the Mailbox Songs, Poems, and Fingerplays- Preschool/Kindergarten], The Education Center, Inc., 1998 (see Associated file)
-Five Senses Poster, Frank Schaffer Publications (or any 5 Senses Poster)
-10 3x5 index cards
-Five Senses Word Bank chart (example available in Associated file)
-Word Wall
-Santa Bear, Santa Bear, Use Your Five Senses (see Associated file)
-Christmas tree (optional)


1. Gather chart paper, markers, and poster of the Five Senses (or any 5 Senses poster).

2. Write the words to the song "Singing the Senses" on chart paper.

3. Have the book [The Five Senses (It's About Science)] out and ready to read.

4. Make your word bank on chart paper. Title it Five Senses Word Bank.

5. You need at least 10 index cards ready to make words for the Word Wall in the procedure section.

6. Make sure you have a Word Wall up in your classroom. (A Word Wall helps you teach and display high frequency words in ABC order or by themes. A teacher can use a wall, bulletin board or any space that is accessible to students. See The Teacher’s Guide to the Four Blocks by Patricia Cunningham, Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, 1999 for more information.)

7 Duplicate Santa Bear, Santa Bear books for each student.

8. I always put up a Christmas tree in my classroom. I usually get a parent to put it up for me. If you don’t have one or can’t get one donated, make a Christmas tree out of construction paper and put it on a bulletin board so students can decorate it with things they make through out the unit.


This is lesson 1, day 1 of the A “Sense”sational Christmas. Since this lesson includes the diagnostic assessment, you might consider making it last two days instead of one. Remember this is an integrated unit, if time becomes a problem.

1. Tell students that you have a big question for them. Ask: Who knows how we learn about the things around us? List student’s answers on chart paper.

2. Tell students that they are going to start a new unit on how they learn about our world. At this time have students take the Diagnostic Assessment for the unit. Refer to the diagnostic assessment for instructions on administering the Diagnostic. (See Extensions)

3. Now tell students they will begin the new unit by going outside to take a 15-minute walking trip around the school. Tell them to remember everything they can about the trip. Ask them to talk to each other about their experiences along the way.

4. Once the class returns, have students brainstorm and describe what they experienced on the trip. If the students don’t mention the five senses, ask: What did you see?

Did you smell something?

What did you hear?

Did you feel anything?

When you smelled the cafeteria food, could you taste it?

Did you see a dog (or some other animal)? How did you know it was a dog?

Did you see any cars?

What parts of your bodies did you use to get all this information?

Discuss how they take in information by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting. Show students the 5 Senses poster. Point out each of the senses.

5. Say: Let’s listen to this story about the five senses. See if you hear some of the words we just discussed. Raise your hand when you hear me read them. Read and discuss [The Five Senses (It's Science)] Paraphrase the book when necessary for young children). Make sure students understand the brain takes in information from the different senses and tells you what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.

6. Now tell students they need to develop a word bank with words for this unit and then add them to the Word Wall Words. Ask: Are there any words we’ve talked about so far that we think need to go in the word bank? (See, hear, touch, taste, smell, and observe are the ones you are looking for.) Write them on the chart titled 5 Senses Word Bank. Make sure to put a picture next to each word for a visual clue. (Ex. see should have a picture of eyes.) Then put those words separately on index cards and have students place them on the Word Wall.

7. Next introduce the song "Singing the Senses." Sing and read several times until students become familiar with it.

8. End the lesson by asking: Why do we need our five senses? What can we do with our five senses? Some specific praise would be: “Yes, we need our five senses to tell us about our world.” “We have eyes for seeing, a nose for smelling, ears for hearing, a tongue for tasting and hands, for touching.” Some corrective feedback may be: “You’re on the right track, but let's point to each sense as we say it. That way it will help you to remember it.” Tell them they will learn more about the senses in this unit.

9. Pass out the Santa Bear, Santa Bear books the students are going to make. Have them complete the first three pages: front cover, dedication, and title page.

A. Front Cover: Write your name. Add any other pictures or color you want.

B. Dedication page: Write or dictate to your teacher who you wish to dedicate this book to. Remember a dedication page is honoring someone special. Someone who makes a difference in your life.

C. Title page: Write your name. Then complete the step-by-step drawing of Santa Bear. (See Associated File.) Many times students get excited about making a new book, so please make sure they don’t rush ahead to other pages. Also encourage students to listen carefully throughout the unit’s lessons, show what they know and do their very best when they are working in this book because it is a summative assessment that will be graded when it is completed. Tell them it is to be done independently and not with a friend.

10. Take up books when everyone has finished.


Diagnostically assess the student’s knowledge of the five senses and other standards in the unit.
(See Extensions)

Formatively assess student’s knowledge 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 by the answers they give in activity #8 in the procedure section. Specifically the teacher is looking for: We need our senses to learn about our world and that our brain tells us what we are experiencing.


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).

Art Center: Students cut out pictures from magazines that show people using the five senses.

Math Center: Students sort objects by color, size, shape, texture, etc.

Science Center: Five Senses Puzzle

Listening Center: Books with tapes on Christmas or the Five Senses

Also included in the Associated File are two optional activities. One is the standards for this unit for you to post in your classroom for principals, parents and students to know the focus of your instruction. The other is how to integrate the Six Blocks into this unit.

Christmas animals can be made into poster size using the opaque projector for a bulletin board. Each animal has a unique feature that represents one of the five senses and can be used as a visual clue along with each of the lessons. Ex. The Christmas rabbit represents hearing. (Put a big red bow on the Panda to make him look Christmassy.)

Web Links

This Website is for teachers who want a better understanding of the senses and how they work.
Gander Academy Nervous System

Attached Files

Word bank     File Extension: pdf

Singing Senses Poem     File Extension: pdf

Santa Bear steps for drawing     File Extension: pdf

Part 1 of Santa Bear Book     File Extension: pdf

Santa Bear part 2     File Extension: pdf

Santa Bear book part 3     File Extension: pdf

Santa Bear part 4     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.