Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: Looking at Nature: How Does It Feel?

Ever wondered how we can look at an object and sense how it would feel if we touched it? When did we learn that spiky things hurt or that extreme water temperatures were uncomfortable?  The book Looking at Nature: How does it feel?  teaches the reader how to infer things about the feeling of an object. Bobbie Kalman, the author, begins the story by introducing the 5 senses that humans have.

 ”We have five senses. Our senses help us learn about the world around us. We see with our eyes. We smell  with our noses. We taste with our mouths and tongues. We hear with our ears. We touch things, to feel what they are like. Our sense of touch is in our hands and skin. What is this hand feeling?”

The book continues to show pictures of animals and objects, and asks questions about how we can imagine something would feel. Question after question throughout allows for kids to think rather than be told. They need to decipher why something may feel the way it does. Experience can be key in figuring such things out. If an student has a pet cat they can figure out that a bunny might feel similar based on how the furs look. Looking at Nature: How Does It Feel? also introduces empathy by getting students to think about how a lizard might feel if it crawls on a cactus.  The photographs throughout are outstanding and really give the reader a “feel” for what touching it may feel like. Check it out!

Curriculum Connections: 

 Looking at Nature: How Does It Feel? can be used in particularly first grade classroom when teaching the kids to make inferences and draw conclusions about familiar objects.(VA Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic 1.1) The question style of the book will allow students to think on their own to develop a reasoning for thinking something may feel a certain way. The words used to describe the feelings are thinks like sticky or rough. The book will teach to use appropriate words when trying to describe how something feels. This is a form of investigation because they are able to describe what they sense accurately.

This book could also work in a kindergarten classroom because it highlights one of the five senses (VA Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic K.2a). It does a great job of explaining how the skins feels.  Bobbie Kalman has a series of books that address the senses in a kid friendly way. Great resource! While the kids are listening to the book it would be fun to have some people holding things that can be found in the book so that they can tell the class how it feels. A feather, a small snail, a snake skin, and a turtle shell are examples.

Additional Resources:

Lesson Plan- Hands as a means of sensing how things feel.

Touching…- activity that can be used to get kids feeling things to see how their sense of feel can help them discover what something is without using any other sense.

Unit Plan -this link takes you to the introductory lesson plan about the 5 senses. Attached are great lesson plans dealing with each particular sense.

 General Information:

Book: Looking at Nature: How Does It Feel?

Author: Bobbie Kalman

Illustrator: collection of photos from Shutterstock.com

Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company

Publication Date: 2008

Pages: 24 pages

Grade Range: k-2

ISBN:0-7787-3334-3