Let's Talk

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Students will be able to engage in meaningful and productive scientific discourse.

Big Idea

Tasting different juices gives students the opportunity to discuss how the senses work together to provide the body with information.


10 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.”

By saying “walking feet” I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I ask the students to recall the five senses.

“Raise your hand if you can recall one of the five senses.”

I select five students who are following the classroom protocol of raising their hand to respond to the request. I remind the student’s who are called upon to only give me ONE of the five senses. By asking the students to only give me one of the five senses I provide more opportunities for the rest of the class to actively participate in the discussion.

“Well done team you recalled all of the five senses; smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch.”

“Who can remember from our “Me, Myself and I” unit what happens to your sense of taste when you have a cold?”

I select a student who is following the classroom protocol of raising their hand to respond.

“Good recall Eva; your food can taste different or sometimes not even taste at all.”

“Well today we are going to use an apple product as well as some other fruits to see if you can correctly identify the juice you are drinking just by taste.”

"Once we have tasted the juices we will discuss the differences and how we decided which juice was which."


I use this discussion to engage my students’ attention and elicit prior knowledge. When we did the taste test during the “Me, Myself and I” unit the students had full use of their other senses. Now they are going to have two senses taken away and have to rely on taste alone.


20 minutes

After the discussion I send the students off to integrated work stations as this activity is best done in a small group where the students are easier to manage and they are less likely to “cheat” the test.

I send the students over to the integrated work stations one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;

“Table number one go get ready to have some taste test fun.

Table number two, you know what to do.

Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and

Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”


Allow the students 18 - 20 minutes to work on the activities. After 18 - 20 minutes are up, the timer goes off and the students clean up and get ready to switch stations.  

I set the visual timer and remind the students to look at it so they can use their time wisely.


Once I have my first group with me I hand each student a selection mat. The selection mat has images of the three different juices they will taste – orange, white grape and apple.

Juice Taste Test Selection Mat

I tell the students, “Today you will be working on answering the question, “Does it take more than one sense to taste?””

“You will be handed one cup of juice at a time. Before I give you the juice your job is to close your eyes and pinch your nose closed with your non-drinking hand. Then I will tell you to drink/sip the juice in your cup. After you have tried the juice I will take the cup from you and you can let go of your nose and open your eyes.”

“Are you ready?”

I have a box of little 3oz plastic cups, a jug of water and the three different types of juice poured into non-see through containers. I also have a bucket to tip unwanted or leftover juice and water in.

I pour the juice into the little cups where the students cannot see. When I have the juice ready to go I tell the students to go ahead and get ready by pinching their noses and closing their eyes.

“Hold out your cup holding hand for me to place the juice cup in. Remember DO NOT open your eyes or let go of your nose. Here we go.”

After the students have taken a sip I take the cups back and tell them to open their eyes.

“On your selection mat point to the one you think juice A was.”

I make note of the results on a piece of paper.

“Adam thought it was apple, Jayden thought it was orange, Bryan thought it was apple, Sebastian thought it was grape, and Troy thought it was apple.”

“Okay here is a cup with a little bit of water to swish around in your mouth and get ready for the next juice.”

After the students have swished a bit of water in their mouth I repeat the above process two more times with the remaining two juices.

The juice tasting station.

Students listening to directions.

Working with students on taste test.

Eyes closed and nose blocked ready for tasting.

When the students have tried all three juices I tell them the correct order of the juices they tried.

We discuss the results as a group.

I tell the students, “When you are holding your nose and closing your eyes the juices have a similar taste so it is difficult to determine which one is the apple juice. When you are able to smell the juices the different tastes are easy to recognize.”

“Your ability to taste food depends not only on the taste picked up by your tongue, but also on the smell detected by your nose. Your tongue can tell you whether a food tastes sweet, sour, salty, or bitter, but your nose can identify thousands of smells. Apple, grape and orange juices have a similarly sweet taste. It is the different smell that makes apple juice have a specific “taste.””

“After looking at our results do you still think this is an easy task?”

“Did you know that when you have your eyes closed and your nose pinched apple and onions taste very much alike?”

“Based on what we just did why do you think that might be?”


In this activity the students are exploring how your body often requires two senses to properly taste food. 


At another work station the students are taste testing a variety of apple sauces to see if they can identify those with cinnamon or different fruit in them. They record the one they like the best (science).

The apple sauce tasting station.

Making the plain apple sauce.

Tasting apple sauce with cinnamon.


At another work station the students are working on ordering apples from smallest to largest and using ordinal numbers to label them (math).  

Students working on ordering the apples.

Ordering apples by size and using ordinal numbers to label.

Student recording the apple ordering.


At another work station the students are writing about which apple product is their favorite (ELA).

My favorite apple product...  

Writing about our favorite apple products.

Student working on writing.


These activities provide the students with the opportunity to apply and expand their understanding of the concepts within new contexts and situations thus elaborating on the information they have been presented with. 


10 minutes

When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look, listen” technique mentioned above.

“When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair and take a spot on your dot. Walking feet, go.”


Once the students are seated I tell them that their exit slip for today is to tell me one observation they made today.

“Team 203 your exit ticket today is to tell me one thing you observed about using your sense of taste. For example, today I found it was hard to tell the difference between the taste of grape juice and apple juice without my sense of smell.”

“When you have told me your observation you may use the hand sanitizer and get your snack.”

I use the fair sticks to determine the order of the students.

If a student is unable to give me an answer, they know they can do one of two things.

  1. They can ask a friend to help, or
  2. They can wait until everyone else has gone and then we will work on an observation together.


I use this exit ticket process as a way for the students to explain what they observed at two different stations. During integrated work station time they experienced different activities which involved using their sense of taste – one with the aid of their sense of smell and the other without. This quick assessment process allows me to see if the student is able to take information learned in one format and be able to transfer it to another format.   


In order to assess if my students have successfully understood and retained the information presented in the lesson I evaluate each student by providing them with a task the next day for morning work. For this assessment I have the students write their opinion about whether they think they could tell the difference between an apple and an onion if they had their nose pinched and their eyes closed. They have to support their answer with a reason why.

Some students will attempt to write the answer themselves and others can have an adult act as a scribe.