Paso Partners - Integrating Mathematics, Science, and Language: An Instructional Program Purchase a print copy of Paso Partners
Introduction Grade K Lessons Grade 1 Lessons Grade 2 Lessons Grade 3 Lessons Bibliography
Table of Contents
Lesson Overview
Teacher Background Information
Lesson Focus
Objective Grid
Lesson 1: The Five Senses
Lesson 2: Sight
Lesson 3: Hearing
Lesson 4: Touch
Lesson 5: Smell
Lesson 6: Taste
-Taste Areas
Lesson 7: Altogether, Now
Spanish Language Translations

The Five Senses - Lesson 6: Taste

BIG IDEAS: Taste helps us, among other things, to select and enjoy food. There are four familiar tastes.

On this page
- Encountering the Idea
- Exploring the Idea
- Getting the Idea
- Organizing the Idea
- Applying the Idea
- Closure and Assessment
- List of Activities for this Lesson

Whole Group Activities

  • Book: Taste by M. Rius, J. M. Parramón and J. J. Puig
  • Mirrors (one for every two students, at least); chart; fruits to cut into small pieces; toothpicks; Q-tips, two for each student; pictures of people eating; pictures of foods people can eat and foods people should not eat; small pieces of various foods for taste test (including sweet, sour, salty, bitter; e.g., cookie, lemon, cracker, banana peel); glasses of salt, sugar, lemon, and baking soda dissolved in water; individual, small diagrams of the tongue; water and cups for cleaning tongue; bag of M&M candies; Sweet Tarts candies; fruits to cut into small pieces (include lemons and banana peel or grapefruit peel); small pieces of pear, apple and potato for each child
  • Word cards: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, tongue, taste

Encountering the Idea

Introduce the lesson by having students dip one end of a Q-Tip in the solutions of salt, sugar, lemon, and baking soda, one substance after another, and having students taste each. After each student has tasted the liquid, the students describe the flavors. Students clean their tongues after each tasting. Ask the students to explain what helps them taste the different tastes that were in the solutions. Help them speculate about what happens on the tongue for them to be able to taste. As the students give suggestions, write the relevant ones on the chart to be used later in the Writing Center. The students relate each taste to foods that have similar tastes making a list to be used later.

Before reading Taste to the students, ask them what they think it might be about. After reading the book, have them compare their predictions with the content of the book. Caution students that they need to be careful about what things they taste. Tell the students that in the learning centers they will learn more about taste.

Exploring the Idea

Students collect data to be used in selecting the class favorite taste. They predict which among the common flavors such as salty, sweet, sour, or bitter is preferred. Several small pieces of various foods can be prepared and offered to the students to eat. This way, there is a common sample from which to select the foods they like and those they do not. They make a tally of how many people like a particular food by grouping by fives (||/||). Tell the students that in collecting this information they have to make sure that everyone's vote is counted. They can do this by making one and only one mark for each person's vote, such as drawing a happy face if they like. Ask the students: Did each person draw one and only one face? Does each happy face have a person who drew it? If that's true, then we know that everyone voted, and voted only once. What do you do to see what the favorite food is? Yes, count the happy faces for each food and compare. Which food got the most votes? How do you know? How can we tell when one number is greater than another? What is one way? Yes, you can match the happy faces to see which taste received more votes. What about Banana Peel? How many voted for that? What number tells us that Banana Peel did not get any votes? Yes, the number zero.




Banana Peel

At the Mathematics Center:

  1. The students, working in small groups, use the taste graph to select the class favorite food and decide whether it is salty, sweet, sour or bitter. They report their selection to the class during the "Getting the Idea" phase of the lesson.
  2. Children wash and cut different fruits into small pieces and sort the pieces of fruit in as many ways as possible. They discuss the outcomes.
  3. After the fruit is cut, each child is given a wooden skewer or toothpick and creates a patterned fruit kabob focusing on a number such as five, six (one more than five) or some other number.

At the Writing Center:

  1. The students locate and label the taste spots of the tongue.
  2. Students complete sentences:
    __________ tastes like __________ . (This is relating one taste to some other similar taste).
    You can taste __________ . You should not taste __________ . (Three things that can be tasted and one that should not be tasted.)

At the Science Center, students complete Activity - Taste Areas.

Getting the Idea

1. Discuss why it is difficult to try counting by using taste only.

2. Compare and discuss the results of the favorite food survey. Which foods do more people like and do not like? How do you know?

3. When you looked through the magazines for pictures of people eating, which tastes did these foods have: sweet, sour, salty, or bitter? Which pictures were the easiest to find in the magazines? Can you guess by looking at the pictures, which taste is in most common foods?

4. The students verbally describe the pattern each created using taste vocabulary - salty, sweet, bitter, sour. Example: salty, salty, sweet, sour, etc.

5. Provide each student with one or two M-&-Ms candies and Sweet Tarts, a piece of lemon and a piece of banana peel or grapefruit peel, a piece of apple or pear and a piece of potato. Display the diagram of a tongue and describe the function of the tongue. The tongue is the main body part we use for tasting food. Remember, we already talked about the nose helping us in tasting food, but it is the tongue that carries messages about what you are eating to the brain. We know that the senses such as sight, hearing, touch and smell are possible because the nerve endings in the eye, the ear, in the skin and in the nose send messages to the brain, and the brain decides what to do about the message. It is the same with the tongue.

The tongue is a muscle covered with many small bundles called taste buds that have many nerve endings. Different parts of the tongue have small bundles, or taste buds, that perform different jobs. We can only taste four different flavors - sour, salty, bitter and sweet- because the taste buds can only perform those jobs. For example, at the front of the tongue, taste buds mostly taste sweet tastes like sugar and honey. Now, let's all taste the piece of lemon you have at your desk. Can you tell where you are tasting it? Yes, sour tastes make the sides of your mouth begin to water because the sides of the tongue taste sour tastes like lemons or vinegar. Now, try tasting the banana peel. Where can you taste it? In the back of your tongue? Yes, the taste buds at the back of the tongue taste bitter tastes like grapefruit or banana peel. The taste buds for salty tastes are all over the tongue. We can taste salt on every part of the tongue.

There is another important thing to remember about taste - it is the part saliva plays in helping you taste your food. Get one of the M-&-Ms and put it on the top of your tongue. Can you taste the candy? No, we have to get it wet with saliva, chew it and mix more saliva with the candy before we can begin to taste it. The saliva mixes with the food and spreads the flavors all over the tongue. The different taste buds begin their jobs and you can tell if the candy is sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Let's taste the Sweet Tarts. Where can you taste them?

Remember, we said that being able to smell something we are eating is an important part of tasting it. When you have a cold and your nose is stuffed, can you smell your food? Does your food have a good taste, or does it all taste the same? Try this experiment: Close your eyes and hold your nose. Now, taste the pieces of pear, apple and potato you have. If you don't smell the food, can you tell the difference between the taste of pear, apple and potato?

Do you think it is a good idea to taste something that is not familiar to you to find out what it is? Why? Yes, it could be something that is not good to eat. Some things look good, but can be very dangerous. If we are offered food we don't know about (for example, when we go trick-or-treating during Halloween) or we want to find out what kind of food something is, we should not taste it. We should ask a parent or relative if it is safe to taste it.

Organizing the Idea

At the Science Center:

  1. The students cut out pictures of foods and glue on appropriate areas of the tongue.
  2. Provide students pictures of many different foods. Students sort the pictures in as many ways as possible related to tastes. Provide pictures of things that should and should not be tasted.
  3. Students, using a mirror, look at and describe their tongues. Encourage them to describe the texture, color, etc. of the tongue using the vocabulary learned in previous lessons.

Applying the Idea

Do animals have a sense of taste? Design an experiment to see if a cat (or dog) has a sense of taste.

Closure and Assessment

Oral Assessment

  1. What are the four familiar tastes?
  2. What part of the body do we use to taste?
  3. What does the sense of taste teach you about the world we live in?
  4. How does taste help us select and enjoy food?
  5. What would happen to you without the sense of taste?
  6. Describe how the sense of taste and the sense of smell are related.
  7. What are some things that should not be tasted?

Performance Assessment

  1. Tell your friend how the sense of taste and the sense of smell are related.
  2. Using a mirror, point to the places on your tongue where you would most likely taste a candy bar, potato chips, lemon juice, and a grapefruit peel.
  3. Using these two-color chips, show your partner all the ways you can make four, five, six or any number you want to show.

List of Activities for this Lesson

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