Posts Tagged ‘senses’

Tongue Map & Perception Activity

Friday, November 1st, 2019


We did a hilarious tongue map activity when we studied perception for the second chapter in our psychology curriculum. We grabbed a large poster board and labeled the different sections of the tongue, emphasizing where the tongue is most sensitive to different tastes. Even though we have taste receptors for all flavors all over the tongue, some areas are more sensitive to sweet taste, for example. The tip of the tongue is the perfect place to lick an ice-cream cone, because if you just placed a small spoon of ice cream in the center of your tongue, it would not taste as good.

Tongue Map Activity & Perception (video demonstration)

Besides the fun activity of placing foods on different locations of a tongue map poster, I showed you a fun activity you can do with a different sense–the sense of sight. Sometimes your eyes will deceive you into thinking you see something that you don’t. If you stare at MC Escher sketches, for example, you get thrown off. (You can see a whole set of fun activities we did when we celebrated an MC Escher Party, including  creating our own tesselations.)

What I’m trying to say is that on the scene of a crime, various people who are standing around will perceive the same identical situation in different ways, depending on so many factors like angle of vision, presuppositions, fear, lack of eyeglasses, doing too many things at once and being distracted, etc. I’m sure you’ve noticed this when you watch mystery television shows. Perception can be distorted and can’t always be trusted.

Perception Art Activity


In my years as a school teacher, I saw the art teachers doing perspective drawings with their classes. One of these activities is super fun and looks distorted like Alice in Wonderland. You draw a small square in the middle of the paper and draw diagonal lines out from the center to form a hallway or elongated room or tunnel. Then you draw a cartoon scene and color it. Next, add a photo of the student inside the cartoon! This is the result:


I found more examples of this perspective activity here: Perspective Art for Older Kids.

All the other senses matter, too, such as the sense of smell (that I briefly described in the video), the sense of hearing (we did a hands-on sound activity here: Sound Collection), and the sense of touch. The five senses take in information, and our mind makes sense of the world around us as we take in this sensory information, based on past experiences and other things we have learned over the years.

My daughter read a book about Helen Keller, a girl who could not see, hear, or speak. She said that when she read the book, she couldn’t put it down… so she stayed up until midnight and was tired the next day. Here are some of her observations about the book:

The Miracle Worker
A book report by Rachel Evans

The Miracle Worker by William Gibson is a short and sweet read. The focus of the story is on Helen Keller, a blind and deaf girl who wants to experience the world in the same way everyone else does, but doesn’t know how. Enter Annie Sullivan, a 20-year-old girl who used to be blind, but after much effort, isn’t anymore. Everyone is doubtful of Annie’s abilities at the start, but soon she wins them over with an out-of-the-box plan to get Helen to like her.

Over the next two weeks, Annie lives in somewhat isolation with Helen, but of course with a servant/helper, Percy. Helen learns manners as Annie tries to teach her how to talk using her hands, but Helen doesn’t quite get it. Meanwhile, James, who I’m pretty sure is Annie’s long lost brother at this point, doesn’t look like he’s been given the right balance of parental grace and punishment for wrongs. Anyhow, I kinda like James.

At the end of the two weeks, Helen and Annie return back to the family house to eat dinner. Helen tests everyone to see if she can still get away with her old behavior, and Annie’s having none of it. She picks her up and takes her outside to refill the pitcher Helen knocked over. As Helen refills it, she suddenly realizes what Annie has been trying to teach her the whole time. Annie flips out, which of course grabs the attention of the rest of the family; Helen’s mother and father are sweetly kneeling in front of her, which, by the way, is in my opinion the most precious moment in the whole book. And they lived happily ever after.

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We had such a fun time with this chapter on perception!

Charlotte Mason – Book 4: Ourselves

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012


This volume is my favorite of all six volumes because it analyzes who we are as people. It doesn’t really have anything to do with homeschooling, but if you understand the make-up of your children, you’ll be able to teach and train them better.

All people have four aspects of their being: body, mind, heart, and soul. Jesus Himself recognized these four areas when He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.” (Luke 10:27) Charlotte Mason gives details about each of these four areas.

The body needs food, water, and rest. If any of these three needs becomes obsessive, the result is gluttony, drunkenness, and sloth. To remain chaste in our bodies, we must remember that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we must think pure thoughts at all times. If an impure thought presents itself, think of something else. Our five senses should be sharpened for us to live life to the fullest. If we taste something rotten, we throw it away before we have swallowed the first piece. But we shouldn’t be ruled by our taste buds; we should eat what is set before us and not be picky and disagreeable.

Our sense of smell is lazy. We should be able to smell the stuffy air in a room to give it proper ventilation. We should be able to smell spoiled food before it enters our mouth. Smell can be used for our pleasure; we should be able to distinguish different plants by their smell.

Our sense of touch helps us to read if we are blind. We can feel frostbite, fire, or the cut of a knife; if we didn’t feel any of these, our bodies would be suffering injury without being noticed. We should not be mastered by the physical pain we might feel. We must think of something else and not dwell on it.

Sight should be cultivated; you should be able to describe scenes in detail. If your childhood memories are hazy, it’s because you never stopped to observe the details around you. You can’t enjoy life fully until you begin to notice the details. For example, can you describe in detail one picture hanging on your parents’ wall?

The sense of hearing has also been dulled. Outdoors you should be able to hear different chirps of birds, water gurgling, wind blowing through the treetops, or pine needles dropping. Enjoy great classical music by following the feeling of the music.

The mind is the second aspect of our beings. Imagination and reason must be brought to the ideas presented to our mind. For history and literature, we must picture the story in our minds in order to derive knowledge from it, and to remember it. Mathematics is worthwhile because our effort results in the knowledge of concrete truth. There are very few branches of knowledge where you can derive absolute truth from its study. Science builds on previous knowledge; however, you should also experience things firsthand to discover all the intricacies of a flower, for instance. Do not allow your mind to dwell on pictures of horror or uncleanness; instead, dwell on God’s creation. The reason is used by our desires to logically defend any idea we want. Therefore it is important to not let into our mind any untrue or evil thought. Everything that everybody does is logical to them. Remember Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar? He reasons that he is doing right by murdering Julius Caesar. Anything can be justified. Our mind subconsciously justifies everything we do. Something isn’t right just because it is logical. Everything can be logical.

The heart is ruled by love and justice, or the lack of it. Some aspects of love are pity, benevolence (goodwill), sympathy (comprehension of others), kindness (making life pleasant for others), generosity, gratitude, courage, loyalty (to king, country, family, and friends), humility (not thinking of ourselves at all), and gladness (joy in all circumstances.) We must be just to others in our opinions, truthful to others in all things, temperate in everything we do, using our time wisely.

Our soul is made for communion with God. We will feel incomplete in our lives until God fills us. We must desire the knowledge of God, which can only come from studying Scripture and mulling it over. We must pray, offer thanksgiving, praise Him, and have faith in Him. The more we know God, the more faith we will have. Also, we must keep in mind that just because our conscience is clear doesn’t mean we are innocent. Remember, our reason will logically justify anything. This is why we must ask God to show us our sin, and to be silent and listen.

Related product: Using Journals to Teach Writing