Help students build an awareness of their senses and test the limits of each one.
- variety of seasonings and spices, such as nutmeg, curry, garlic powder, chili powder, ginger, dried basil, and cinnamon (You may want to choose spices that reflect the home cultures of your class.)
- chart paper/marker
- small airtight plastic bags
Objective: Children will learn about and compare different types of spices to develop sensory and cultural awareness.
In Advance: Prepare a graph on a sheet of chart paper. Write the names of a few different spices across the top of the paper. Divide each section into vertical columns.
- Place a little bit of each spice into small airtight plastic bags. Explain to children that each bag contains a different type of spice. Ask children if they know what spices are and if they can name any.
- Ask children to close their eyes. Hold the spice under each child's nose, giving each an opportunity to smell it. Invite children to guess where they have smelled this spice. Pass all the spices around the group. Remember: Children may not know the name of the spice, but they may be able to relate it to a familiar food or another experience.
- Show children the chart paper listing the names of the different spices. Pass the spices around again and ask children if they can identify the spices by name. Do they recognize any of the spices now that they can see them? How do the spices look? Do any look similar or smell similar to each other?
- Now invite children to graph the spices that they find the most appealing. Draw a smiling face under each spice that children like the scent of. Ask them to total the smiling faces under each spice to see which one was the least favorite and which was the most favorite. Later, try the exercise again using different spices. Invite children to compare and contrast the look and scents of the spices.
Curriculum Connection: FAMILY INVOLVEMENT
Spices at Home. Send a note home to families asking them to show their child the different spices they use for cooking. Ask families to smell the spices with their child and describe how, why, and when they are used. Then, ask children to record the names of the spices and count how many spices they found in their home. Families can help children copy the names of the spices from the labels. They can share and compare their finding with their classmates.
My Five Senses by Aliki
Smell (The Five Senses) by Jose Maria Parramon
What's That Smell? by Janelle Cherrington