What Food Is It?
Author: Sharon Janulaw
Overview: Students close their eyes and taste foods without using the sense of sight to identify the foods. They record what they think the food is that they tasted.
Grade Span: K2
Prepare recording sheets.
Cut food into pieces and put foods out of sight of students.
Time: 40 minutes
Grouping: Whole class and small groups
Our senses of taste and smell are related. The tongue can distinguish only four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter. Other tastes are a combination of the four basic tastes or a combination of taste and smell. The flavor originates primarily from the foods smell. Molecules of the food move up the back of the mouth to the smelling cells in the nose. Our sense of smell is important in helping us differentiate among the many foods we eat. For example, if you cant use your sense of smell, your sense of taste may not tell you the difference between an apple and an onion. If you have a cold, food tastes bland and things taste much alike.
Explore this link for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson:
NOTEBefore beginning tasting activities, check students health records to determine which, if any, students have food allergies. Do the tasting part of this activity with a group of about 6 at a time. If you work with the whole class, students will have to sit with their eyes closed for too long a time.
Vocabulary: names of any foods with which students are unfamiliar
In small groups do the same tasting activity, but this time have them close their eyes and hold their noses when they are trying to taste and identify a food. Then discuss how things taste when a person has a stuffy nose. Tell them that the sense of smell is used when we taste food. Talk about the four tastes that we can identify without our sense of smell. Put a piece of pretzel in each students mouth while they have their eyes closed and their noses held. Ask them to tell you whether it is sweet, sour, salty or bitter. You can use lemon, candy, dill pickle, sweet pickle, unsweetened chocolate for the different tastes.
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