A Taste of Summer: Learning about our Senses

I had forgotten how it feels to be working with kids for five hours straight. Add to it 40 degree weather and I come home exhausted everyday.  The summer camp at the  International Institute of Madrid is all about learning English and practicing it.  We have four themes this summer. This week it is the Five Senses.  I like this theme because there is so much vocabulary to work with and you can do so many activities.  

Today we did a Taste Test so that they could learn the words salty, spicy, sour, bitter and sweet.  During our vocabulary lesson we went over these words and associated them to different foods and they wrote them in their notebooks.   I put salt, black pepper, coffee grounds, a lemon wedge and sugar in small trays.  I had students write in their notebooks the title Taste Test.  

Then I had each table (four students to a table) come up to my desk to do the test.  They took their finger and tasted the salt. I had them tell me what it tasted like and then sent them to write the word salty in their notebooks. We did this with each item and each table. 

Next I had them come to the carpet and help me write sentences on the board, so that they can extend their learning to phrases instead of loose vocabulary words with no connections.  We wrote the following:

The salt tasted salty.
The pepper was spicy.
The coffee tasted bitter.
The lemon was very sour.
The sugar was sweet.

The look on their faces when they tasted salt and lemon was precious. They amazingly liked the bitter taste of coffee and of course they loved the sugar which I left until last so they were left with a sweet taste in their mouth and a positive experience. It was no problem getting them to help me write the sentences they had learned the vocabulary words quite well.

Tomorrow we will review with a taste sort so that they can use these words again and continue to associate them to different food items. The students are six and seven, so I don't want to overload them with too much vocabulary, but I want them to make these few words part of their vocabulary.

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