Making observations is one of the first things that scientists do when conducting experiments. In order to make observations that are thorough, accurate, and specific, we need to acquire as much information as we can, using all the senses we can safely employ. Observations can come before writing a hypothesis and creating an experiment, which means it is part of the first step in the scientific method. Students learned what subjective (opinion) and objective (fact) statements are and that in science we always want to make observations that are fact based. As scientists, we use OBJECTIVE and DETAILED descriptions while making observations.
The young scientists learned that we have to depend on our senses to make objective and detailed observations. Furthermore, we learned that not all observations are wrong, even if they are different. The students received a poem that can be read at home, which goes into how different observations can be made, even if everyone is observing the same object. Additionally, they can watch this video of “The Six Blind Men and the Elephant”:
We learned that there are 5 MAIN senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We also learned that there are MORE senses that aren’t always talked about, such as Equilibrioception, or our sense of balance.
Students are asked to discover at least ONE other sense and see what type of observation they can make in the world around or within them with that specific sense.
For today’s activity, students were given bags with mystery objects to observe. The students were allowed to use all senses except for sight. We practiced making good observations and descriptions using OBJECTIVE and DETAILED language. We then, as a class, attempted to identify the objects based off of the descriptions we were given. We learned that it is important to use very detailed objective language, without inferring what something might be – this allows us to make more accurate observations.