single sense materials

Thermic Bottles


Material Description:

Eight small receptacles, preferably thermos flasks or bottles in jackets, containing water at various temperatures:

Two should be at body temperature, marked with a pink dot

Two should be ten degrees Celsius warmer

Two should be ten degrees Celsius cooler

Two should be twenty degrees Celsius cooler



The bottles should be prepared just before the presentation is given




  • Bring the tray containing the items to two chowkis and place it on a cloth on the floor
  • Introduction – Contrasting Temperatures
  • Move the bottle with the pink mark, lifting it by the string, onto the chowki
  • This bottle is a control; it is neither warm nor cold
  • Show the child how to feel the control bottle by keeping it in place with the string in your left hand while cupping the side of the bottle with your open right palm
  • Invite the child to do the same


  • Pairing
  • Place the set introduced into a row, at random on the left
  • Remove the other set of bottles and place them at random on a row at the right of the chowki
  • Bring the body temperature bottle, marked with a pink dot forward from the left to the centre and touch it as above
  • Bring one bottle from the right, until it’s pair is found if a bottle does not form a pair keep separate until a pair is found and then bring the rejected tablets back into circulation
  • Put the pair at the base right corner of the table
  • Touch the bottles at body temperature to re-establish contact with control
  • Continue to take bottles in the same manner until another pair is found
  • Check both bottles once more and invite the child to do the same


  • Grading
  • Remove ‘only one set of bottles and place at random
  • Touch the bottles to isolate one extreme
  • Touch again to find “next extreme” and put it next to isolated one, compare them again
  • Invite child to compare them
  • Continue grading till complete, allow child to touch and compare each consecutive grade
  • When complete touch the entire sequence
  • Remove second set of bottles and place at random and invite child to grade them, using the completed set as a control




  1. Pairing and Grading




“Warm” – “Cold”;  comparatives and superlatives, also “Cool ” – “Tepid”



Criteria of Perfection (Control of Error):

  • Within the child’s ability to discriminate temperature



Direct Aim:

  • To refine the child’s awareness of temperature through the thermic sense and  associated language



Age at Presentation:

Three and a half years, at the same time that the Thermic Tablets are shown.




  1. Re-prepare the bottles as often as possible, with a thermometer
  2. The body temperature bottle should be felt after each pair is established.






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