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We have seven senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, proprioception and vestibular. We learn about the world through our senses. Each of our sense organs receives information: we see with eyes; we smell with our nose; we hear with our ears; we touch with our skin; we taste with our tongue; we sense how our body is in space and we know how to use it to move. Our sensory system records information constantly: light waves, sound waves, odor particles, and sends the information to our brain. Our brain has over a billion neurons that carry these messages. We experience the world with our entire being - a whole body experience!! Designers heighten the awareness of your senses to connect with and remember experiences.

So use your brain! Come to your senses!

Activity 1 – Sit Sense

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In your journal, record what you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell from a seated position. Take your journal page and divide it in two vertically. List the five senses. Close your eyes to concentrate on what you hear. Run your hand on the surfaces around you and describe what you feel. Taste something! Sniff in the smells. Cover your ears and look around. What do you see? Time yourself. Take one minute to isolate each sense and use it fully to learn from your environment. Make a list of adjectives and phrases on one side of the page; on the other side of the page doodle what occurs to you as you reach out into the environment with your senses. Which sense gave you the most information? What percentage of your whole experience would you give to each sense? (Be sure your experience totals 100%!!!).

Sharpen your senses!

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Activity 2 – Experience: Building Memory

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Take five walks around the same block with a friend. First, cover your eyes and let your friend lead you around: stop and record all that you heard. Take a second walk around and have your friend help you touch different surfaces. Enter the experiences in your journal using words and lines. Repeat this activity three more times concentrating independently on your sense of smell, taste, and finally sight. What did you see, hear, touch, taste, smell and learn? What do you think that you will remember most about this experience? Experience your senses!

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Activity 3 – Sensory Map Your World!

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Go to the ArcGIS Online website, and find out how they map the world differently. Then think about how you can map the route from home to school using sensory experiences, such as temperature, emotions, sounds or visions. How would you share your experience coming and going with someone who did not know your walk? Make a sensory map of your walk to and from school. Place sensory icons at key moments. Write a paragraph about the experiences. Heighten your senses! Become more aware of your environment!


  • What two senses are complimentary?
  • Which sense dominates most people?
  • Our sensory systems sends messages to our:
  • What sense requires light waves to work?
  • List additional senses that scientists sometimes include.
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