Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Teaching Taste for Dummies

This year my family is definitely on a budget (understatement). With that being said, I refuse to sacrifice good classroom activities because of this. So, my mission this year is to come up with activities that are just as fun and engaging as my old activities but don't put a dent in my wallet at the same time! Teaching the sense of taste is one of those normally semi-costly activities. However, this year I have come up with an activity that is just as fun (if not more than before) and a whole lot cheaper! Not only is my new activity cheaper but it is safe for peanut allergy students too. 

This year I decided to try a Skittles taste test. First I numbered four cups 1-4: 

Then, I sorted my Skittles into four flavors (sort enough for each student to have one skittle) like this: 

After that, I gave each of my students a taste recording sheet. 

You can get it here for FREE:

Next, I told my students that were going to be given a Skittle and it was their job to figure out what flavor I am giving them. First, I told them to close their eyes and put one hand out in front of them (ask them to make their hand into a cup so the Skittle won't roll out). Then, I told them that once they got their Skittle they should put it right into their mouth but to keep their eyes closed until I told them they could open them. I told them they could open their eyes once I passed out one to everyone and they had all put it in their mouth. You might be thinking, "Yeah right! My students would never keep their eyes closed." Au contraire, I told them that if they opened their eyes and were peeking then they wouldn't be able to taste any more of their treats. If I caught anyone peeking, then they didn't get any more Skittles. You better believe their eyes were closed tighter than a Chinese finger trap! This activity was so much fun. All of the students loved playing detective! The only thing I would do different is I would go over each flavor after they tasted it. For example, I would give everyone the Skittle, have them taste it, draw it and write the word. After that, I would give them all a chance to guess the flavor and then unveil the mystery taste. Today I let them try and draw all of the flavors first and then tried to unveil each one but they didn't remember what they wrote or what the flavor was. They still enjoyed it but next time I would just have them guess and unveil each flavor right after they tasted it. I hope you can use this in your classroom too and keep a little extra cash in your pocket!


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