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Five Senses: Taste

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During this week-long unit, kindergarten students learned about their five senses.  The lesson plans for this unit were developed to help students become more aware of each of their five senses.  We focused on a different sense each day of the week.  Each day, either the cooperating teacher or I read the students a book about a particular sense, after which the students were engaged in an activity that required them to use and learn about that sense.


The lessons included a variety of activities developed to engage students and appeal to a variety of different learning modalities such as kinesthetic, auditory, visual, and tactile.  Each lesson engaged students in hands-on activities where they were exploring, discovering, and experimenting for themselves. 


What follows is the lesson plan for the sense of taste, as well as examples of student work and pictures of students during the taste activity.


Title: Taste

Grade Level: K

Subjects: Science, Language Arts, Math

Time Needed: One class period

Overview: Students will taste several white substances and classify them as sweet, salty, or sour (similar to the apples they will taste earlier in the day).

Materials or Equipment:

Ÿ        Paper muffin baking cups – different colors (one color for each substance)

Ÿ        Salt

Ÿ        Sugar

Ÿ        Powdered sugar

Ÿ        Baking soda

Ÿ        Poster board/paper to record responses/suggestions

Illinois State Standards:

State Goal 4: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.

Ÿ        A. Listen effectively in formal and informal situations.

-         4.A.1b: Ask questions and respond to questions from the teacher and from group members to improve comprehension.

-         4.A.1c: Follow oral instructions accurately.


State Goal 10: Collect, organize and analyze data using statistical methods; predict results; and interpret uncertainty using concepts of probability.

Ÿ        B. Formulate questions, design data collection methods, gather and analyze data and communicate findings.

-         10.B.1b: Collect, organize, and describe data using pictures, tallies, tables, charts or bar graphs.

-         10.B.1c: Analyze data, draw conclusions and communicate the results.


State Goal 11: Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems.

Ÿ        A. Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of scientific inquiry.

-         11.A.1e: Arrange data into logical patterns and describe the patterns.

-         11.A.1f: Compare observations of individual and group results.


State Goal 12: Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.

Ÿ        C. Know and apply concepts that describe properties of matter and energy and the interactions between them.

-         12.C.1b: Compare large-scale physical properties of matter (e.g., size, shape, color, texture, odor).


State Goal 13: Understand the relationships among science, technology and society in historical and contemporary contexts.

Ÿ        A. Know and apply the accepted practices of science.

-         13.A.1a: Use basic safety procedures (e.g., not tasting materials without permission, "stop/ drop/ roll").

Goals: Students will discover substances that look alike may have very different tastes, and that the tastes of these substances can be compared to the apples they tasted earlier in the day.

Behavioral Objectives:

Students will be able to:

Ÿ        follow simple one, two, and three-step directions

Ÿ        taste the substances and provide appropriate description words

Teacher preparation:

Ÿ        Pour sugar into the red cups, baking soda into the green cups, powdered sugar into the yellow cups, and salt into the white cups.

Ÿ        Set one of each color at students' seats.  

Ÿ        Prepare a chart for the results.


Ÿ        Ask students if they have ever tasted something salty, sour, or sweet (define vocabulary as necessary).

Ÿ        Tell them that today we are going to be doing a taste test, and they will have to determine how the substances on their tables taste.

Ÿ        Explain the directions to them:

-         When they get back to their seats, they will have 4 different colored paper cups (hold up to show them) - a green cup, a red cup, a yellow cup, and a white cup.

-         When they sit down, do NOT touch the cups and look up at me.  When everyone is looking at me, I will know they are ready to begin.

-         I will call out a color.  When they hear that color, they will dip their fingers into the cup to get some substance on their finger, then they will taste it.

-         After they have tasted it, they will raise their hand and give me some words to describe how it tastes.  These words will be written on the poster board at the front of the room.

-         Students will try to guess what the substance is, and, if possible, compare it to the apples they tasted earlier (i.e. does this taste like the green apple?  The red apple?).

-         We will do this with each color cup.  They are not to move ahead since they don’t know what color I’m going to call out next.

-         If they mix up what is in the cups, dump them out, or move ahead, I will take their cups away and they will not be able to participate in the activity.  If they see someone else at their table doing these things, I do NOT want them to shout out – instead, I want them to politely ask that person to stop or you can quietly raise your hand to tell myself, the cooperating teacher, or the parent volunteer.


Ÿ        After the directions have been explained and there are no questions, be sure the cups are at each seat.

Ÿ        Call up students to go to their seats.

Ÿ        When everyone is ready and looking, call out a color to have them taste what is in the corresponding cup. Tape the corresponding 3x5 card with the color name and a cup of that color on the poster board, at the top of a column.  Start with sugar (red), then salt (white), then powdered sugar (yellow), then baking soda (green).

Ÿ        After a trial of each colored cup, call on students to provide description words (encourage new words rather than a repetition of what has already been said) and record their responses on the poster board.

Ÿ        Have them guess the substance in each cup.  When they guess the correct substance, or when they give up, flip the 3x5 card over so that the substance name is revealed.

Example of students' responses


Ÿ        Discuss how these tastes compare to the apples we tasted earlier.

Ÿ        Review how the substances may look similar but have very different tastes - we use our sense of taste to tell the difference.

Ÿ        If there is time, have students pick their favorite flavor of the four and tally the results in a graph.

Extra Challenge or Adaptations:

Ÿ        Repeat directions and provide students who need additional help with directions one step at a time.

Additional challenges:

Ÿ        Student will follow one and two-step directions.  I will encourage him to taste the substances and will try to engage him in the conversation by asking him questions such as “Andy, do you like the way that tastes?”  (i.e. he will either shake his head yes or no, or he will use one or two-word utterances).   He will correctly identify the cups by color when I call one out (i.e. when I say “try the RED cup” he will correctly identify the RED cup.)

Ÿ        If student does not want to taste the substances, I will still encourage him to participate with the rest of the class by remaining in his seat and listening to the other students, and by continuing to identify the correct color cup as I call them out.

Evaluation or Assessment:

Ÿ        Student responses, observations, and descriptions.

Ÿ        Participation in activity and discussion.

Students engaged in taste activity

Students engaged in taste activity