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Teaching News is Elementary


Program Content for August 29, 2014


Each week, this lesson will share some classroom activity ideas that use the newspaper or other NIE resources.  You are encouraged to modify this lesson to fit the needs of your students.  For example, some classrooms may be able to use this as a worksheet and others might need to ask and answer the questions in a class discussion. 

Please be sure to preview all NIE content before using it in your classroom to ensure it is appropriate for all of your students.

Materials you will need for this lesson: The Seattle Times e-Edition

Library or computer access for city research

Article: “Health Rocks!: Meet the Five Senses”

Page: pages X4 and X5

Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014


Pre- Reading Discussion Questions: 


Look at the title. Before reading the article, what do you already know about your five senses? What do you want to know? Why are your five senses important? What sense do you think is most important for you? What sense do you think is the least important for you?




Read the following quotes and determine the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in the sentence:


The three sections of your ear — the external, middle and inner ear — act as an intake system.


(the act of taking something (such as air) into your body)


 Although fewer than 1 in 10,000 people have perfect pitch, speakers of tonal languages such as Vietnamese and Mandarin Chinese show higher accuracy in pitch, because it is important in conveying meaning in these languages.


(tonal: of or relating to musical tones)

(conveying:  making something known to someone”)


Even a single exposure, such as a loud concert, can cause tinnitus. In fact, 1 in 5 adolescents has hearing loss.


 (the fact or condition of being affected by something or experiencing something : the condition of being exposed to something)


Journal Writing Prompts: 


 • Sweet describes natural and other sugars, such as fructose (often found in soda).

• Sour describes acids found in lemons, limes and oranges.

• Salty describes the chemical compound of sodium chloride, or (you guessed it) salt.

• Bitter describes vegetables such as brussel sprouts, kale or spinach. The

back of the tongue is very sensitive to bitter tastes.

• Savory, or umami, describes foods rich in protein such as meats, cheeses

and tomatoes.”


List foods you enjoy for each of the above five taste sensations. Then list five foods you dislike. Review your lists and determine which tastes are typically your favorite. Then, think of one of one of your most favorite food memories. Describe the experience in detail.


Discussion Questions:


Review the excerpt and discuss the following questions:


“The human hearing range is 20–20,000 Hz. Many animals, including cats and dogs, that are dependent on sounds for hunting can hear frequencies of up to 20,000 Hz. Dolphins and bats can hear frequencies of up to 100,000 Hz!”


What are animals such as cats, dogs, bats, and dolphins able to do because of their powerful sense of hearing? Based on their abilities, what other animals do you think have a strong sense of hearing? Why? If you were able to hear sounds at higher frequencies, what would you be able to do?



Small group discussion and activity: 


“Our sense of hearing works in stages. The three sections of your ear — the external, middle and inner ear — act as an intake system.”


Based on the above and further description in the article on how your sense of hearing works, draw a diagram of the ear. Label the parts described. Below your diagram, list the process of which sound waves travel so that you hear sounds. How are parts of your ear like a drum? How is the brain involved in hearing? Compare your diagram and process description with another group’s.



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