TASTE

The sense of taste is another source of data input we frequently overlook, but it can add a layer of fun and richness to learning experiences. Whether the connection is direct or indirect, it's always in "good taste" to work in some fun.

When my kids' biology teacher brought sugar cookies to class and allowed the children to decorate them with the elements of a cell--"cytoplasm" jelly glaze inside a piped frosting "cell membrane" with small candies as the "nucleus", "ribosomes", and "mitochondrion"--that was a wonderful example of using taste to indirectly enhance a lesson.

Here are just a few examples of taste used as a direct data resource:

  • Touching our tongues with bits of apple, lemon, and onion to find which areas our taste buds are more sensitive to sweets, to sours, and to savory tastes
  • Eating out at a Greek restaurant to conclude our study of Greek history and mythology
  • Sampling Christmas cookies as we learned about European holiday traditions
  • Tasting jerky, pemmican, and cactus jelly as we learned about native American cultures and talked about how food was preserved without refrigeration or canning
  • Eating roast fowl and grease-smeared brown bread with our fingers at a medieval dinner after reading Ivanhoe

Taste is a very memorable experience that can unlock the door to other related information.

BRAINSTORMING ACTIVITY:

You knew this was coming, didn't you? ;) A multi-sensory course should include hands-on learning activities for the parents, too!

Please choose one of the options below:

  • Using the examples given in this lesson as a starting point, come up with a few ideas of your own where you could introduce learning experiences that are "in good taste."

OR

  • Plan a meal that includes foods of every color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, and white) and/or a meal that consists of foods of only one color. Ask your family which was more appetizing, more fun, and more interesting. What can you learn from their responses that could be applied to lesson planning? HINT: This is an activity related to sight as much as to taste. I include it because it demonstrates how our senses interrelate.