Crunch crunch yum!

One of my new lessons for this fall was taste testing. Yum!  It’s a lesson that I’ve been thinking about for a while but hadn’t yet had a teacher sign up for it, so I was excited to finally have a chance to try it out.  I had seen a few templates for different taste testing lessons, but decided to do more of a 5 Senses lesson than the ones I had seen.  I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to have them taste.  I wanted something that was somewhat familiar to them, and something that there are many distinct varieties of where they could observe a variety of different elements.  Most importantly, it had to be local and seasonal.  I had narrowed my choices down to carrots or apples, and went to Sorauren Market in search of inspiration.  Bizjak farms had a good apple selection, so I decided to go for that.  Also figured that the difference between different apples is probably more than that between different carrot varieties (though it would have been fun to introduce them to different coloured carrots… maybe with an older grade…)

I started off the lesson telling them that they would be “food critics” (and having a brief chat about what that means).  Then we talked about some different apple varieties and showed them the four varieties we would be tasting: Mutsu, Royal Gala, McIntosh and Ginger Gold. We then talked about how to use our 5 Senses to describe the apples: What are some things you can observe about the apples using your 5 Senses (size, colour, taste, texture, sound it makes when you bite it…) and what are some words you can use to describe the apples (red, green, big, smooth, bumpy, sweet, crunchy…)?  I had made them each a little apple tasting chart, where they could list the different apple varieties, and then describe each one using the 5 Senses categories.  We had the kids in 4 different groups (as there were 4 apple varieties) and every few minutes, the teacher and I rotated the apples through the groups (which worked well, rather than having the kids rotate through tables).

The kids really enjoyed the apples and kept asking for more! And most of them were pretty into finding some descriptive words. The chart worked well, as it gave them a pretty solid structure to work through with each apple variety.  I was thinking we might use the descriptive words to write up little “reviews” of the apples, but they were pretty antsy by the time they’d tasted all of the apples (it was nearly recess time, after all). The teacher kept the charts, though, and said they might use them for some writing work later on. She had also set up a graph and gave each student a post-it note so that they could vote for their favourite apple variety (of the 4 we’d tasted). So a good taste testing lesson involving language, science and math curriculum links, and some yummy apples!

Happy growing!

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One response to this post.

  1. […] taste testing with a number of classes. (I described this activity back in 2012 – read more here.) We get to taste 4 varieties of Ontario apples and describe them using our five senses. (Yes, even […]

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