"Da" I's Have It: A Fun Look At The Eye

Ann Fultz Charles Holden Elementary
1104 West 31st Street
Chicago IL 60608
(312) 535-7200


Kindergarten level: Recognition of parts of the eye.

Materials Needed:

sponges markers
styrofoam balls doll plastic eyes
index cards construction paper
pencils balloons
string paper towels
paper plates round candies
oranges olives
saran wrap Pringle potato chip cans
colored ribbons metallic (shiny) Paper
cardboard "Find Waldo" Book


Students will construct three forms of the eye. Using a styrofoam ball,
students will add a plastic eye ball by adhesion. Use a good glue to cause
permanent bonding. Students will do likewise with the sponge ball. If the
sponge is not shaped in the form of a ball, shape sponge into ball shape before
adding plastic eye. Give time for glue to set. This is the time to construct
'fun' eye. Peel orange, keeping the orange whole, don't section it off. Stick
your finger into the open groove at the end of the orange. Your finger will
allow enough space for you to insert an olive. Voila! The orange is the
sclera. The green of the olive is the iris, and the red represents the pupil.
Point out that we see the sclera as pure white, while inside, there is a network
of movement occurring, hence, the orange with its veins and grooves remind us of
how the inside would appear if we could see it.

Blow balloons up and using marker, draw iris and pupil on the front of the
balloon. Students can feel the roundness of the balloon and see placement of
iris and pupil in relationship to sclera.

Take doughnut-shaped candies and insert a gumdrop into the center. On the
center of the gumdrop, place a raisin. You now have the eye parts in an edible
puzzle form.

Make tubes out of the yellow and grey construction paper. Roll one tube
longer than the other. Tape the ends. Ask children to bring rods and cones up
as you hold both tubes in your hands. Place rods and cones on floor in a
triangular form. Have students retrieve styrofoam balls and bring them up
front. Students will take turns knocking down rods and cones. The winner is
the one that "bowls" the most rods and cones down.

Bring balloons and form teams on either side of makeshift net (notebook
paper with holes taped to a piece of string held by two students at each end).
Students will volley balloons at the same time with the winners being those who
keep the balloons on their side off the floor. Instructor periodically calls
the name of eye parts, for instance, "here comes the red sclera"; "I see the
green sclera with the blue iris"; "Hit that black pupil of the eye dead center."

Using paper plates, black beans and glue, students will construct the first
letter of their name. Instruct students to put on their blindfolds (paper
towels) before beginning this project. This activity vividly portrays the
importance of the eye and allows the student to appreciate the ability to see.

Using the construction paper rod or cone that students made, instruct
students to hold rod or cone to side of left hand. Hold at arm's length, with
both eyes open, students will be able to see a hole in left hand.

Instruct students to touch the tips of their longest fingers on each hand.
Hold hands at arm's length directly in front of your eyes. Hot Dog! We have
lunch. Students should be able to see the illusion of a suspended finger (hot
dog) in the middle of fingertips.

Extend forefinger about 6 cm from eyes in front of you. Slowly bring
finger close to your eyes, with both eyes open. You will see the illusion of
two out of the one finger extended. Yea, V for victory, we've come this far.

More Eye Puzzles To Amaze and Entertain Young Ones as well as pique their interest:

Give each student a square piece of cardboard, "3 by 3" perhaps, and have
them punch a hole on each side. Holes should be at the edge of cardboard and
near the center, or midway through cardboard. Attach a string to each hole.
Using a marker, draw a cage on one side and draw a bird on other side. Teacher
can draw pictures on chalkboard as students copy. Have students hold both ends
of string in hands and twirl. The bird now appears to be inside the cage. To
make trick really come alive, use different colored markers, and draw your bird
smaller than your cage.

Give students a lined index card. Have them color or trace lines using a
marker and/or crayons. Punch hole in center of card with your pencil. Leave
pencil in the hole and spin the card. Straight lines now appear to be round
lines. If you put a dot between one of your lines you will get the illusion of
a race track.

Give each student a Pringle potato chip can. Have them cut off the bottom
end of can. They will need a plastic top and a square piece of Saran Wrap. Set
aside. Pass out different colored pieces of ribbons and instruct students to
cut them into small pieces. Place cut up ribbons in the plastic top. Place
Saran Wrap on top of ribbons. Give each student a metallic sheet of paper which
they roll to fit into their cans. Glue middle seam of metallic paper, and glue
the paper to inside of the cans. Attach plastic top to can. Students turn can.
They have just made their own, economical kaleidoscope. And, cheaper yet, is to
place a boldly printed picture inside plastic cap. Same effect. Use Sunday
funnies or magazines. No expenditure for ribbons needed.

To further reinforce retention of eye parts "Da" I's Have It Where: Iowa Why: No idea By: Ida give a hoot Characters: Sclera, Cornea, Iris, Pupil, Retina Sclera: (boasting) I'm TOUGH, I PROTECT ALL OF YOU, SO DON'T GIVE ME A HARD WAY TO GO. Fultz: There goes that guy again. I haven't seen him since I don't know when. He promised me he wouldn't complain. I think he's fine, I'm glad he's mine. (You really give singing a bad name). Cornea: You don't have to toot your horn (convincingly). We know how important you are to us. My membrane is so thin, I'm glad you provide protection yet allow light to pass through my conjunctiva, which is also trans- parent and produces fluid, and helps keep the front of my eye clean and moist. Iris: Oh brother, talk, talk, talk (agitated). Tell me, can you change colors as I can, huh, huh? Retina: (Strutting peacock) All of you step back. I'M THE MOST ASTONISHING PART OF THE BODY. AS SMALL AS I AM (postage stamp size), I CAN DETECT A DETAILED, CONTINUOUS AND MOVING VIEW OF THE WORLD IN COLOR. I'M YOUR SWITCHBOARD. I CONVERT LIGHT RAYS INTO ELECTRICAL MESSAGES AND SEND THEM TO THE WRINKLED GUY (your brain). Pupil: (whispering) Real truth is, he gossips. Cornea: (joining the whispering) I think Retina is part of a gang. He hangs out with the rods, the cones, who are related to a network of nerve cells called bipolar cells, and....... Iris: (interrupting) Yes, I heard they all are connected to another layer of cells called ganglion cells. Pupil: (Naively) Well, they ARE interconnected, and work together, so I imagine it MUST be a 'good' gang. Iris: (indignant) What's a good gang? They wouldn't be in 'cells' if they were good. Convicts live in cells. Sclera: I didn't mean to start a war of words, and/or wonders. Fultz: I'm grieving, so I'm leaving, because "Eye, Eye, I've" got the blues right now. (Child, you sure give me the blues with that off key singing.) Ouch! My ears hurt. Pupil: (sarcastically) You might think about going on a diet, you are carrying a lot of muscles, membranes, nerve endings, etc. Iris: (coyly) I don't diet, however, I do change shape, after a meal of light, bright and/or dim. Pupil: (mimicking) I always maintain my round shape, thanks to your help, your strong muscles, lengthening and shortening, to change my size, so that I can control light coming in. Cornea: (bored) Do me a favor. Just keep everything out of my way and I'll remain healthy. Sclera: (sincerely) I'm glad we had this chat, we learned much about this and that. One thing I know, the eye puts on a mighty show. ALL; (tune of Old MacDonald) With a blink, blink here, and a tear duct there, here a blink, there a wink, everywhere a blink, blink, blink. Oh my eyes have a job, and they do it well. Fultz: Opening mouth..... ALL: (shouting) DON'T EVEN TRY IT! Fade to reality.........................
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