Open House with a Mystery Science Theme
Open house is meant to allow the parents to see what the child has been working on while allowing the parents and teachers to communicate any concerns they have. However, no one says it has to be a boring night! Why not spice it up a bit and show off what the students have learned about the five senses and how they work together using this fun elementary mystery science night activity?
Before hosting your own elementary mystery science night, complete lesson plans on the five sense; hearing, smell, taste, touch and site. Whether you have used a general lesson plan to describe the five senses or gone so far as to explore the systems such as the integumentary system, students should know by now that the five senses actually work together to form a complete picture. They will demonstrate this in their activity.
Use this afterimages in motion lesson plan to demonstrate how the eyes can be fooled when the mind receives no other input than that from the eyes. The activity involves two images in motion that seem to become one. It is best used in this environment as a secluded project where the item causing the motion cannot be seen.
In this activity, visitors will be asked to wear a blindfold and place their hands behind their backs. They will be asked to smell and identify different items to see how things are perceived using only the sense of smell. Students can use anything from liver to scented markers.
Before doing any activity that involves taste, visitors should be asked about any allergies they might have to avoid any potential problems. Ask visitors to plug their nose, wear a blindfold and taste various items. This can in fact work well with the smell activity if visitors are not allowed to learn the what the objects were before moving on to the next one. Please note that if you want to boost fun levels, students can make comments about the food being their favorite food and actually giving them one they normally wouldn't like or telling them that are going to taste something gross when in fact they will be eating something they enjoy.
Make a tape of sound effects and play them while asking visitors to identify the sounds. Is that a cat howling or a baby crying? One interesting trick is to tape the children randomly snapping their fingers, slapping their legs and rattling a piece of metal. Those who hear it will think it is a storm! Gert creative and see how you can fool your visitors!
Create different bowls of items and ask visitors to touch and identify them blindfolded. Fill the dishes with harmless items such as cooked noodles and peeled grapes. As visitors are touching them, have students pretend to be grossed out and see what the parents think they touched! Fill a bowl will lard that was scooped out with an ice cream scoop and ask visitors if they think it will be hot or cold when they touch it. It looks just like ice cream but is warm because its lard! (This is actually how they film ice cream commercials!) Take a double broiler and fill the bottom with ice. Fill the top part with water. Set this on a hot plate that looks like it is plugged in. Ask parents to touch the water inside. The water will be cold but they will expect it to be hot.
Our senses work together to keep us out of danger. Every sense has a part to play in understanding the environment.Come up with more ways to make elementary mystery science night fun by seeing if you can fool the senses!