When learning the five senses in Spanish, kids need to learn the simple basics of how our senses helps us get around. In this Spanish lesson for kids, the five senses are presented in a brief science description, the sense of sight and smell, keywords to know, and a learning activity to reinforce the lesson.
In studying the five senses in Spanish, it’s easy to start with the eyes and nose. The sense of taste, hearing and touch can be studied in a separate lesson.
How do we perceive our surroundings when we smell and see? In fact, humans have five senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. In this lesson, we will focus on the sense of sight and smell.
It is the combination of all the five senses that we are able to detect the perfumes in flowers, the delicious ice cream, the marvelous paintings, the soft touch of a puppy, and the many loud fire truck sirens. Many of these sensory abilities are all connected to our brains and nerve cells.
How are humans able to use all of their five senses to explore their environment? To answer this, we need some science background.
Brief science background
Chemical and physical changes that occur in different parts of our bodies are indicators of what happens when we use our five senses. For instance, the eyes have different optical components that can allow light to enter.
In all of these amazing sensory functions, the brain cells are the parts of our body that interprets these perceptions. Why are these five senses so important that they are connected to our brain cells?
The sense of sight
The eyes are the optical organs that allows us to view the amazing colors of a rainbow, the beautiful flower in the garden, the smile in our parents, or that great toy that you like to play with.
As a matter of fact, our eyes are composed of many specialized areas and nerve cells. The eyes are mainly organized with exterior and interior areas. The exterior area is composed of eyebrows, eyelashes, eyelids, and pupils.
The eyelashes and eyelids help protect the eye from debris or dust that could otherwise damage the delicate area of the pupil. Just like a camera lens, the pupil allows light and images to enter into the optical chamber, and it will adjust to various degrees of light intensities.
Once in the interior part of the eye, the light travels in various ways inside the optical chamber. The interior part of the eye is mainly composed of the cornea, crystalline lens, conjunctiva, and iris.
The cornea, with the help of the crystalline lens, adjusts the incoming light. The conjunctiva, which protects the eye, is a membrane surrounding the inner part of the eyelid.
What about eye color? The iris, in fact, is a pigment structure that generates the color of eyes. It is located between the cornea and the crystalline lens. It is also the pathway of light to the interior region of the optical chamber.
The sense of smell
The nose is the body part responsible for all the different smells we can encounter. Within the olfactory region, the olfactory epithelium and cells are the ones that trigger the sense of smell.
In fact, the olfactory cells are nerve cells that identify the different smells that enter into the nose. Also, the olfactory cells can have many cells called cilia, which have the function to interact with different scents before they reach the olfactory cells.
Our noses can detect more than 1000 different smells, identified by more than 1000 different genes. Although it is not quite clear whether these genes actually produce a certain smell, it is still evident that most of our smells are derived from experience and a combination of smells and tastes.
We can describe smells, in general, as sweet, pungent, stinky, smoky, and fragrant. Sometimes we can smell something sweet and associate it with delectable cookies, pies, ice cream or other sweet treats.
On the other hand, we can smell something pungent and associate it with rotten eggs or trash. The ability of our olfactory cells to gather these smells in conjunction with the sense of taste is remarkable.
eyebrows = cejas
eyelashes = pestañas
eyelids = párpados
pupils = pupilas
cornea = córnea,
crystalline lens = cristalino
conjunctiva = conjunctiva
iris = iris
sweet = dulce
pungent = acre
stinky = apestoso
smoky = humeante
fragrant = fragrante
You can find a fun learning activity in the Language section to learn about body parts and the five senses in English and Spanish.