ALEX Classroom Resource


Sniffing Out Dogs' Senses

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Sniffing Out Dogs' Senses


Content Source:

Type: Audio/Video


Discover just how powerful a dog’s sense of smell can be in this video from NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses. Fern, a trained sniffer dog, is put to the ultimate test: Can she locate a canister of meat hidden 20 feet underwater? As a passenger on a boat, Fern must determine the exact spot over which the canister was dropped in a lake. After about an hour of crisscrossing the lake, Fern successfully pinpoints the location. Canine smell is so acute because a dog’s nose splits the flow of incoming air into separate streams—with one dedicated solely to smell. A dog’s brain is also specially configured to make sense of the olfactory information it receives.

This resource is part of the NOVA Collection.

Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
11 ) Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses, process that information, and respond to it in different ways (e.g., skunks lifting tails and spraying an odor when threatened, dogs moving ears when reacting to sound, snakes coiling or striking when sensing vibrations).

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L4.4: When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses.
  • Investigate different ways animals process the information they receive and how they respond to it.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • investigate
  • evidence
  • transmit
  • perception
  • receptors
  • senses
  • sensory information
  • process
  • memories
Students know:
  • Different types of sense receptors detect specific types of information within the environment.
  • Sense receptors send information about the surroundings to the brain.
  • Information that is transmitted to the brain by sense receptors can be processed immediately as perceptions of the environment and/or stored as memories.
  • Immediate perceptions or memories processed by the brain influences an animal's actions or responses to features in the environment.
Students are able to:
  • Identify different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Identify evidence of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information to be investigated.
  • Plan ways to Investigate different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Collect and communicate data of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
Students understand that:
  • Sensory input, the brain, and behavioral output are all parts of a system that allows animals to engage in appropriate behaviors.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Animal Studies

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.11- Identify the sense organs and the information they receive (eyes/sight, tongue/taste, ears/hearing, skin/touch, nose/smell).

Tags: canine, dog, senses, smell
License Type: Custom Permission Type
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AccessibilityVideo resources: includes closed captioning or subtitles

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  This resource provided by:  
Author: Stephanie Carver