The Eyes Have It-Exploring Our Sense of Sight

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Students will be able to describe what their sense of sight is and the body structure associated with it by sorting different items by visual characteristics.

Big Idea

Observation is such an important part of science work. This lesson helps students better understand what their sense of sight is, preparing them for using it as part of their science observation skills.


5 minutes

This lesson is a follow-up to the inquiry based lesson, Using Our Sense of Sight.  In this lesson, the students' understanding of this sense will be expanded. 

I like to begin each of my Five Senses lessons with a YouTube video song.  The songs do a great job of reinforcing the different senses and the structures responsible for both.  Today,we will be listening to and singing Five Sense by Mr. R.  This song does have a commercial at the beginning, so you will want to make sure you have moved passed that before starting it for your students.  The one I watched was for underwear!!  Sure to get a laugh in the kindergarten classroom, so you might want to fast forward!


After the song, the students gather around my chair for a story.


15 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the chart paper from the previous lesson in which the students shared what they know about the sense of sight.  You will also need an introductory book on the five senses.  I like to use the book Seeing by Rebecca Rissman.  This book covers the sense of sight at a very basic level and links sight to the overall five senses.  It covers the basic structure of the eye and what the eye sees. The book can be found in English and Spanish.  It is the perfect length and difficulty for kindergarten.  It can be purchased through many bookstores, including Amazon.

I remind the students about what we already know about our sense of sight by reading what is on the chart paper.  I say to them,  Today we are going to read a book to give us more information about our sense of sight and our five senses.  We are going to learn some new things to add to our chart. 

I then read the story to the students.  I explain to them that it is an expository or non-fiction text and that it gives us information that is true.  We discuss how scientists often read books to find information or to learn more about something.  When we are done reading, we move over the Smartboard to continue our learning about our sense of sight. 

Guided Practice

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SmartBoard.  If you have a SmartBoard, the file Sight Smartboard can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  Click here to download. There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.  Click here to access them:  Sight Smartboard PDF.

I gather my students in front of the Smartboard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  To avoid any unintentional bias on my part, I use the cards to call on the students.

Each slide in the notebook file highlights some different aspect of our vision.  I say to the students, We are going to use our sense of sight to help us sort and find some objects in our Smartboard slides.   Our eyes are amazing things.  They allow us to see so many things.  Let's look at the different things our eyes allow us to see.

We begin working at the Smartboard with the students going up and sort the objects by color.  We continue through the slides, following the directions on each one.  After we are done, the students move back to their seats for independent practice.

This lesson has the students analyzing and interpreting data.  The students are organizing items into categories, revealing commonalities between the items.  This lesson helps the students build some wonderful foundational skills that will be used in future science learning. 

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

20 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the I Can See Student Book included as a PDF with this lesson.  I also included a version that has more support so you can differentiate this activity if you would like to  click here for that version.  I run the book and put a staple in the corner of the eye.  I then cut around the outside of the eye so the book is "eye-shaped".  Click here for a picture of the book. The students will need crayons to complete.  I also have little mirrors that the students use to see their eye color with.  

I distribute the books to the students and have them write their name on the front cover.  I say to the students, We are going to make a book about our sense of sight that you will be able to take home and share with your family.  This book will show the many things that we can see with our eyes.  The first page says that we can see colors, so I want you to draw something that is colorful like many different colored flowers or a rainbow, or anything else that you can think of.

The next page says I can see shapes.  On this page, I want you to draw some different shapes like circles, squares and triangles. 

When you turn the page, it says that you can see things big and small.  I want you to draw a picture of something big and then of something small.

The next page says, I can see things near and far.  I want you to draw something near in the picture and something far away in the picture.

The last page says, "I see with my eyes.  This is the color of my eyes."  I want you to color in the eyes the color that they are.  There are mirrors on the table you can use to see your eye color. 

The students start to work and I circulate around the room.  See video.  All of the students understood what they needed to draw, but their work shows different levels of skill:  Student Work 1 and Student Work 2. This activity is really about enhancing the students' understanding of all the amazing things our eyes allow us to see.  It also helps them to make connections to their science learning, laying a foundation for using vision as a part of their observational skills.

When the students are done, we gather as a big group and add more information to our our chart.  They have many new ideas to share after the lesson.  This serves as wonderful closing for the lesson.