Recently, I needed a quick activity to do with my elective class that would take only one period. I’ve been on a food trend recently, so I thought why not use some of the materials I had leftover and test the students’ abilities to taste foods… without using some of their senses!
At the start of the class, we discussed how what we taste and how we think about flavors is often affected first by sight and smell. Does the look of something affect the taste? Also, how closely connected are smell and taste? My students were pretty confident that they knew their foods and could identify anything I gave them. I accepted that challenge! 🙂
I had two activities ready for the day. For the first, I scrounged around my house and school, coming up with random samples of things students could eat.
This list included:
- Butterscotch chips
- Gummi Bears
- Apple sauces
- Pieces of cheese stick
And more… (afterwards I thought I could have also included a kind of baby food, since I have a few types of those around the house!)
I had students work with a partner. One student put on the blindfold, and his or her partner gave them a food sample in a cup, and students could eat the food right out of the cup. This way, touching the texture would not be a factor. Before eating, I made everyone plug their nose, then eat. The blindfolded students had their partners write down what they thought the food was. Once we had done several foods, the partners switched who was wearing the blindfold, and I brought out new foods for them to try.
Most students did pretty well and were fairly accurate with their guesses. The cheese stick tricked up some, and the butterscotch chips were a hard flavor to guess.
For the second part of the activity, we focused on identifying flavors. I showed students a bag of Skittles. I told them I would be giving them each a Skittle while they were blindfolded. However, I wouldn’t tell them the flavor. Without seeing it AND with their noses plugged, they found out quickly that figuring which flavor of Skittle they were eating was not easy! Out of the 5 flavors they tried, most students could only identify one or two correctly. Several even asked if I gave them the same flavor twice!
Students had a blast. Their reactions to the tastings were hilarious. We were all happy after eating our snacks, and came away with the realization that we like being able to see and smell our food!