the human body

Sense Organs: Skin, Nose, Tongue Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn that the skin, nose, and tongue serve as sense organs to collect information for the brain to interpret.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

Unlike the other sense organs, such as the eyes, skin is not simply involved with a single sense. In addition to its role in MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Under Your Skin" is a good one for the cross section art of the skin? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Point out to students that the skin is more than just a sense organ. Ask them to suggest other valuable jobs the skin does. (Answers might include that the skin keeps out water, germs, and protects us from harmful UV rays. It also cools us by releasing sweat.)

    Moving on to taste and smell, ask students if their sense of taste has ever been affected by a bad cold. Tell them to describe what happened.
  2. Write about it: Ask students to write a paragraph that explains how our sense of smell and taste can actually protect us. To get them started, you might ask them to think about smelling or tasting something that is rotten. You might want to lead them to think about smelling smoke, as well.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on the human body.


Skin, Nose, Tongue Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to the human body by reading the definition and using the word in a sentence they create.



Sense Receptors
Grade: 3 - 4
This lesson explains that each of our senses is made up of receptors that receive information and transmit it to the brain.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Human Body

Take an in-depth look at our incredible bodies and what makes them tick, through an unique integration of words and pictures.

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