Students develop their sense of touch by organizing five pieces of sandpaper by texture.
1. Give each student a fine piece of sandpaper and a coarse piece. Have them feel and describe each piece. Perhaps they will use words like "smooth", "rough", "grains", "sand", "big pieces", or "small pieces".
2. Then encourage students to view each piece with a magnifying glass, and describe the differences they see.
3. Give each student a wooden popsicle stick. Have them observe what happens when they sand with fine sandpaper verses coarse sandpaper.
4. Give them a medium piece of sandpaper to feel, describe, and sand the popsicle stick. Then finally give the last two pieces of sandpaper to do the same. Have students arrange the five sandpaper pieces in order from fine (smooth) to coarse (rough).
5. Students can glue the five sandpaper pieces in place. Or this can be a velcro and laminated reusable activity.
6. As a reinforcement, give students two sets of the five sandpaper pieces. They can match each piece of sandpaper from the first set with the corresponding sandpaper in the second set. Then they can arrange the matches in order from fine (smooth) to coarse (rough).
7. To add difficulty, use varying brand names of sandpaper, so you can get the same grits but in different colors. These will be more challenging to match.
*This activity is inspired by the Montessori Rough and Smooth Boards. In Montessori, it's used as a sensory activity to practice students' awareness of their sense of touch, and also as a precursor to writing, observing the light pressure needed to move fingers across sandpaper (as light pressure is needed to write with a pencil).