Social Studies/Sensory Unit: The Sounds & Smells of India

Social Studies and Geography Preschool Lesson Plan I {Kayla} teach a preschool class at my church on Wednesday nights and we recently did a lesson that I thought would be fun for any preschool classroom! Perfect to include in your geography/social studies unit, we explored the region and culture of India using our five senses {with a few extras thrown in, of course!}.

The next two 'stations' in our exploration of India lesson incorporated the sounds and smells of India...

The Smells of India {affectionately deemed "The Smelly Station" by the kiddos}

At the 'smelly station', we used our noses to explore the various spices used in Indian cooking - ground cinnamon, cumin, ground cloves, turmeric, chili powder, and ginger. It was quite funny to watch the kids' faces as they caught a whiff of some of the more potent spices. After {carefully!} passing around the jars for a quick sniff, I offered each child a magnifying glass and we took a look at the spices up close. I asked them what colors they could see in each of the mixtures - the chili powder worked best for this exercise - and it was fun watching them confer with each other.

As an extra, I added some sandalwood incense oil to the station, explaining to the children what incense is used for, what forms it comes in, etc.

The Sounds of India

Since our night was decently short, our "sounds of India" station was super informal. I downloaded a variety of traditional Indian music from iTunes to play in the background as the kids moved from station to station and printed out pictures of common instruments - the Indian flute, the sitar, etc. - to post by the CD player for the kiddos to explore on their own.

I found a list of traditional Indian instruments here...

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the conclusion of the India lesson!