Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#243. Taste Zones

Science, level: Elementary
Posted by Krystal Wadsworth (

University of Memphis, Memphis, USA
Materials Required: water, sugar, salt, lemon juice, unsweetened tea, paper cups, cotton swabs, hand mirror
Activity Time: 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: taste buds

Directions: 1. Label four paper cups "sweet," "salty," and "bitter." Mix the appropriate tasting liquid in each cup.
2. Pour a cup of plain water for each child and give each child four cotton swabs.
3. Let the children take turns looking into the mirror so that they can see the taste buds all over their tongues.
4. Have each child dip one cotton swab into the sweet water and repeatedly touch it to their tongues until they find the area of the tongue where sweets are tasted. There may be some variance from person to person.
5. Have the children throw away the used cotton swabe and take a sip of plain water from their cups.
6. Repeat this process with the salty, sour, and bitter liquids.
What Happened: The children were able to see that different areas of their tongues are sensitive to certain tastes.