Name That Taste

Gracie L. Jones Charles Carroll Elementary
2929 West 83rd Street
Chicago IL 60625
(773) 535-9414


This experiment is designed specifically for students in grades three to
five. However, it should also be helpful for students in grades six to eight
with minimal adjustments. It can accompany lessons which target the five
senses, especially the senses of taste and smell or it will work well as
a singular experiment which will enhance basic observation skills. Students
will learn how the different taste sensations are experienced, particularly
that sweet and sour sensors are located on specific parts of the tongue.

Materials Needed:

Q-tips Granulated sugar
Lemon juice Shock tarts (candy)
Vinegar Cups (4 per group)
Paper towels Blindfolds
Tongue map (This is the shape of the tongue. Show students a design of the
of the tongue with the specific taste areas labeled. Have them
to create their own map from this design without labeling.)
This experiment should be conducted by students in groups of two or more.
This will allow students to act as the subject, experimenter, recorder and
observer. Students will need three maps each.


Place the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and shock tarts in separate cups. Label
the bottom of each cup to indicate the contents. On the sides of the cups,
write A, B, C or D and place on a table facing the recorder. The subject (or
taster) should be blindfolded. Using a clean Q-tip each time, the experimenter
will dip the end into one of the cups with the liquid content and place on
different areas of the student's tongue. The shock tarts should be placed in
the subject's hand and they will place it on different areas of their tongue.
Each time the tongue is touched, the student should be asked to identify the
taste sensation that they experienced. Each response should be noted by the
recorder on the tongue map. Once all students within the group have completed
the task, allow students to conduct the experiment again. This time the
blindfold should not be included. The experiment should be conducted a third
time. This time students will hold their nose and complete each step of the
experiment. When the experiment is completed, students should review their
individual responses and then compare them with the other students in their
group. each group will write their overall results and compare with the rest of
the class.

Performance Assessment:

Students will now be able to complete tongue mapping by labeling the areas
of the tongue that are more sensitive to a specific taste and areas where
taste sensations may overlap with each other. They will also understand
how the sense of taste is influenced by both sight and smell.

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