Our Sense of Smell

Contributor: Beth Price. Lesson ID: 10233

Close your eyes and think about chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven. How do they smell? What if you close your nose instead of your eyes? Web stuff and yummy tests teach about your nose!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Think about a batch of chocolate chip cookies or fresh baked bread coming out of the oven. Do you like the way they smell? What are some things that don't smell good? What part of our body do we use to smell things?

Our body has 5 senses.

The 5 senses are: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

We use our senses to learn with and to explore our world. Today, you will learn about your sense of smell!

Whether something smells good or bad, it is your nose that lets you smell. Read on to learn about the nose and the wonderful things it does!

Your nose has two holes called nostrils. The nostrils lead to two passages called nasal passages. These passages are separated by a wall called a septum.

The tip of your nose is made of cartilage. Cartilage is a substance that is firmer than skin but not as hard as bone. It is wiggly. Touch the end of your nose right now and wiggle it around.

Behind your nose, in the middle of your face, is the nasal cavity that connects with the back of your throat.

The nose plays a vital role in our breathing. When you breathe in air, the air travels through your nasal passages, then to the nasal cavity and down your throat on its way to your lungs.

The air is warmed and filtered in your nasal passages on the way down. Then, when old air is ready to come out of your body, it will leave through the nasal passages and nose when you exhale. Inhale and exhale right now and feel the air enter and leave your body through your nose. Does it tickle?

So, how does your nose allow you to smell?

On top of your nasal cavity is a place called the olfactory epithelium. Say that out loud! The olfactory epithelium has special parts called receptors — about 10 million of them! These receptors pick up scent molecules that are in the air when you breathe air in. The receptors then send a message to your brain, and your brain tells you what the smell is! Our brain can identify about 10,000 different smells!

Watch this video called How Your Nose Works, from KidsHealth, for a fun look into your nose:


Read some more at a great website called Your Nose from KidsHealth.org (I'm sure you'll want to rush to the link called, What's a Booger?).

Continue on to the Got It? section for a quiz and a stinky game!

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