Making some sense of the senses

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COURTESY OF DANIELLE PRICE Julianna Fagan, left, is testing her sense of touch with her partner Olivia Johnson during the Avon third-graders’ health class lesson on the five senses taught by school nurse and health teacher Jamie Golda.

AVON-BY-THE-SEA — The Magic School Bus was a popular children’s book series and TV show that followed an unorthodox science teacher and her unusual ways of teaching. Although students from the Avon Elementary School didn’t shrink down to a molecule size to explore the olfactory nerve, school nurse and health teacher Jamie Golda transformed her classroom into a learning environment that was sure to heighten all of their senses. 

“I like to do something hands on … just to get them engaged,” Ms. Golda said. 

Avon third-graders were immersed in a multisensory environment where they learned about all five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. The unique lesson plan followed the students learning about the central nervous system. 

“It was the perfect segue to go into the five senses,” Ms. Golda said.

The classroom was staged into five sections to entice each of the senses. 

According to Understood.org, when kids learn, they often rely on sight to look at text and pictures and to read information. These students rely on hearing to listen to the teacher, also. But multisensory teaching isn’t limited to reading and listening. It uses all senses, including taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing.

The first stop was the taste station where they were challenged to determine what exactly their taste buds were telling them. Blindfolded students ate, or spit out, Fritos, apples, lemons and olives to decipher between salty, sweet, sour and bitter. 

“They had a spit cup, so if they didn’t like anything, they could use that,” Ms. Golda exclaimed after noting the lesson called for olives. 

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