Our Five Senses Affect Food Choices

K, 1, 2
The purpose of this class is to raise the students' awareness of the five senses and the role the senses play in making food choices. The teacher will read a book about the senses and provide the students with a variety of center activities. Parent helpers will facilitate the centers and assist in gathering the appropriate materials.
Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo and One-Half Hours (includes center time)
The learner will:
  • explore the relationship between the senses and food preference.
  • learn the names of the five senses.
  • draw and label the senses.
  • recognize that participation in the activities involves trust.
  • Foods of different sizes and textures
  • Adult or older student volunteers at each center
  • Student writing journals
  • Chart paper
  • Big Book, My Five Senses: A Lion's Tale (See Bibliographical References.)
Home Connection 
Interactive Parent / Student Homework:To help prepare for this lesson, send out a request for parent helpers in advance. You will need at least one helper for each center. Parents can also purchase and prepare the foods for the centers.
  • Aliki. My Five Senses. Harper Trophy, 1990. ISBN: 006445083X

  • Nayer, Judy. My Five Senses: A Lion's Tale. Massachusetts: Newbridge Educational Publishing, 1994. ISBN: 1567840671. <www.newbridgeonline.com>


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to close their eyes while you pass something under their noses (a cut lemon, chocolate candy, coffee beans or peanut butter). Hide the smelly item from sight and discuss what they think it was. Ask them to tell you what sense they used to figure that out. Ask them what other senses they have and how they could use those senses to observe the object in a different way. For example, they could use their sense of touch to feel the shape of the lemon. They could use their sense of hearing to observe how the coffee beans sound as they drop or shake in a cup.

  2. Read the Big Book, My Five Senses: A Lion's Tale. Discuss how the lion used his senses in the story. Tell them that they have five senses that help them observe the world. Ask the children to reflect on what their five senses are and how they use them. Encourage several children to give their responses and ideas.
  3. Divide the class into five groups to rotate to five centers. Each center will focus on a single sense. Choose foods of different sizes, temperatures and textures (green banana/ripe banana, outside/inside of pepper, grape, apple, grapefruit, lettuce). The children will use one sense at a time to choose which food they would like to eat. The parent helper will need paper and pencil to keep a tally of what choices the children make at their center and to record their comments. (Have the foods in closed containers so children cannot see the objects in advance.) The teacher will need to signal when the groups rotate and oversee the whole process, making sure they have enough time at each center.Centers:
    1. Touch: Have the children handle foods with their eyes closed or blindfolded (no eating). After feeling all the choices, ask them to select one thing that they think they'd like to eat based on feel. Ask them to explain their choices. Write down their comments.
    2. Taste: Have small samples of foods of different tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, and salty). As children sample the foods, write down their comments. Tally which foods children choose as their favorite flavors.
    3. Smell: Have students close their eyes and use only their sense of smell to make choices. After smelling all the choices, ask them to select one thing that they think they'd like to eat based on smell alone. Ask them to explain their choices. Write down their comments.
    4. Sight: Choose items that may not be familiar to students for this center. Have students use only their sense of sight to make choices. After looking at all the choices, ask them to select one thing that they think they'd like to eat based on sight alone. Ask them to explain their choices. Write down their comments.
    5. Hearing: Have students turn their back to the facilitator. Use foods that make noise (cold cereal, pouring milk, snapping carrots, breaking chips). See if children can identify the foods.
Students write in their journals about their five senses. They should draw a picture of eyes, ears, hands, mouth and nose. By each sense, they should illustrate something that was attractive to that sense. Post the words "hearing," "taste," "touch," "smell" and "sight" near the writing area so that students can copy the words and label their drawings. Encourage students to write about the foods they observed. Additional assessments may include the following: Observe student participation at each center

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify ways that trust is important in all communities.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define the word <em>trust</em> and its role in all communities.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.