An interactive idea to introduce the language of SENSATIONS and to aid understanding of the red cog concept.
This idea is intended for Early Primary, when cog concepts are first introduced. However, it can be adapted for Early Years by simplifying the vocabulary, minimising the objects and by referring to the box as a sensations or red box, and not as a “red cog box” (younger pupils are not taught cog names or concepts). It could also be adapted or extended for older pupils by looking at more complex vocabulary and sensations (eg: cold would be shivering or trembling) or by allowing them to choose and name the sensations themselves.
To create a Red Cog Box, first look at the Body Sensations vocabulary in the Symbol Book for the core vocabulary: dizzy, tickly, itchy (scratchy), shaky, fluttery, hot, cold, tense/tight, sore/ouch. Then choose objects with textures of, or that give sensations to reflect, these words. For example, a hand warmer for hot, an ice pack for cold, feather for light or tickly, blu tack for stretchy, squashed or tense. Add in other words and sensations, too.
When introducing the Red Cog box to learners, allow them time to freely choose and explore the different objects. Allow learners time and space to experiment with their own descriptive vocabulary before labelling the sensations with and for the children: “that feather is very light and tickly on my skin” or “feel the sticker, its so sticky!”. Use symbols to support, if necessary.
An extension task could include matching objects to Body Sensation symbols to embed understanding of each word/sensation and of the Red Cog concept, itself. Blank cards or post its could be used for those sensations with no matching symbol.