Grade: all
Subject: Science

Teachers.Net Lesson Plans

#181. Discriminating Among Tastes

Science, level: all
Posted by Cindy Copeland (
University of Memphis, Memphis, USA
Materials Required: Look below
Activity Time: About 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Learning about the different taste buds.

Materials: Craft sticks(or cotton swabs), bottles of common liquids that are salty, sweet, sour, bitter, acid, or neutral, tape, construction paper, magazines, and glue.
Objectives: TLW be able to discriminate among different taste when tested in the mouth.
TLW to find the different areas on the tongue that react more strongly to different tastes.
Activity: Ask children if they like to be detectivies so they can search for unknow objects and different places. Tell them they are going to explore a place that is very common to them, but they do not think about it all to often. It's the mouth. Inform the students they are going to play a detective game to find out what is in each bottle in front of them(each child gets a bottle filled with whatever solutions of liquids you can find). Caution: Tell them to never taste anything they do not know becasue it might be harmful to them. Explain that the bottles of solutions you will be using are safe, and they use these solutions or liquids on a daily basis.
Place the bottles on each child's desk( have the solution already in the bottles). Ask them to use a swab or craft stick to taste each solution. Explain that they need to use a different swab or stick for each soltuion to help prevent the spread of germs. Have everyone taste the same solution at the same time and ask: "What kind of taste is that?" Have them identify that it is sweet, salty, bitter, acid, or neutral(which ever one you decide to use first). To challenge, have them to try to identify what kind of liquid or solution it is. Throw each swab away after each use, and do the process over for each solution or liquid.
Reinforcement activity: Ask students what kinds of foods they eat that are salty, sweet, sour, bitter, acid, or neutral. Have them cut pictures from magazines and label them according to each taste.
Extra activity: Show the children that there are different places on the tongue that react more strongly to certain tastes. Touch slolutions to these four areas of the tongue. They are: Bitter in the back of the tongue, salty on the left side of the tongue, sour in the middle of the tongue, and sweet is on the front of the tongue.