Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: You Can’t Taste a Pickle With Your Ear


You Can’t Taste a Pickle With Your Ear written by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Amanda Haley explores the five senses by explaining what they are and how we use them as well as colorful and fun illustrations and rhymes.

The book appropriately begins with an introduction briefly describing the five senses along with their functions. Each of the subsequent chapters focuses on an individual sense by examining some of the many ways we use it. It further captures the attention of young ones with short rhymes incorporating sensory descriptors such as this one found in the chapter on taste, “Pizza is spicy, milk is not. Milk is cold and pizza’s hot.” The chapter on touch includes this fun rhyme, “Worms are soft, beetles hard. Can you find some in your yard?” Each chapter concludes with thought-provoking questions and simple activities aimed at motivating students to use that particular sense. For instance, the chapter on sight asks the questions, “When you shut your eyes, what happens to your eyeballs? Are they still there? Do they move?”

In keeping with the theme, this easy-to-read book ends its concluding chapter with a memorable poem re-emphasizing the five senses, their functions, and their importance:

Curriculum Connections
This book could be used in a kindergarten classroom to help students learn what the five senses are as well as help them think about and understand the ways they use their senses in day-to-day life. It directly relates to Virginia SOLs K.2a and K.2b which focus on humans’ five senses and corresponding sense organs as well as sensory descriptors.

Additional Resources

  • After taking a brief walk outside or around the classroom, students can use this worksheet to record what they experienced through their senses.
  • Students would enjoy and benefit from flashcard games where they must match the sense organ to corresponding pictures depicting that sense such as the one found in this lesson plan.
  • This website hosts a variety of activities, games, and lesson plans related to the five senses.

Book: You Can’t Taste a Pickle With Your Ear
Author: Harriet Ziefert
Illustrator: Amanda Haley
Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc.
Publication Date: June 2006
Pages: 40 pages
Grade Range: K- 3
ISBN: 9781593541729

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