Curious

What is texture?

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Smooth, bumpy, rough, and lumpy... Slimy, fuzzy, sharp, and fluffy...

Texture is the way a surface, material, or substance feels when we touch it. Bed sheets have a soft texture, so they are comfortable when we go to sleep. Basketball courts have a very hard texture, so the basketballs will bounce.

Texture is very important because it helps us experience the world. You might choose to wear a soft, cotton t-shirt instead of a coarse, wool sweater that makes you feel itchy. Some people like soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, while other people like their cookies to be hard and crunchy. What's your favorite cookie texture? Texture helps scientists find fossils because fossils have a different texture than the rock around them. The texture of soil helps gardeners figure out how well plants will grow. Everything we touch has a texture. What textures are around you now?

(by Mya Kagan)

Exploration

Text Texture! Our skin especially the skin on our fingertips is very sensitive to changes in texture. That's why some people use a special form of writing, called "Braille," to read. Instead of letters printed with ink, Braille uses tiny bumps on paper or other materials to represent letters, sounds, and numbers.People who can read Braille are able to understand what the bumps mean by running their fingers over them and feeling changes in texture. Have you seen Braille writing before? It's pretty common on signs in public places and on some restaurant menus. There are also entire books written in Braille. When you find some Braille writing, try running your finger across it. How easy or difficult do you think it is to tell the difference between Braille letters? You might be surprised at how sensitive people's fingertips can be. Braille is very helpful to people that are blind and other people who have trouble seeing. Besides reading, how else can feeling textures be helpful to people that cannot see?