Thursday, September 22, 2016

Five Senses: Herbs and Spice: Does That Smell Nice?

Herbs & Spice Playdough: Sense of Smell
Lesson Plan for 1st Grade
Prepared by Mrs. Yandell


Students will learn the how each of the five senses work together to help us explore the world around us.  This lesson will focus on the importance of smell.  


  1. The students will understand how God created us with the abilities to experience His creation.
  2. The students will use their five senses to investigate, describe, and compare objects.
  3. The students will use their five senses to enhance their writing abilities.
  4. The students will use their five senses to describe an object.
  5. The students will recognize how they interact with their environment through their senses


  1. Discovering the importance of our five senses
  2. Discovering God’s desire for our senses
  3. Learning to make observations using sense of touch
  4. Learning the importance of observations to identify characteristics
  5. Recognizing categories of living things vs non-living things


  1. 7-8 Natural herbs and spices
  2. Dough
    1. 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
    2. 1 ¼ cup brown rice flour
    3. ½ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
    4. 1 cup salt
    5. ¾-1 cup water


Steps to check for student understanding
  1. Were you able to choose your favorite herb/spice without smelling it?
  2. After smelling the the herb/spice, do you still agree you chose your favorite?
  3. By smelling the herb/spice, were you able to learn more about it?
  4. How does your sense of smell help you to identify things in our environment?
  5. Can your sense of smell help you learn more about your environment?


In this lesson, students will be using their sense of smell to help them identify things in their environment.  In groups of four, students will look and touch eight different herbs/spices at their table.  They will chose their favorite based solely on sight and touch.  They will then have the opportunity to smell the herb/spice they chose, along with the other seven herb/spices.  After smelling all of the spices, students will identify which one they like best, and compare it to their first choice.  As a class, we will go over the importance of our sense of smell, and how it can help us to identify and classify things in our environment.
Next, the students will have the opportunity to use their favorite herb/spice to make an aromatic gluten free playdough.  

Recap written by Jessica Yandell:
Our first-grade students had the opportunity to explore their sense of smell and use their favorite herb/spice to create an aromatic gluten free playdough! As an introduction to this lesson, we showed a video clip that talked about how our nose works . The kids thought this video was hilarious…, but it was a great way to catch their attention as we learned about our sense of smell.

This activity was broken into three parts.  I placed eight cups on each group's desk, which were filled with different herbs and spices.  I asked the students to plug their nose, and breath through their mouths.  Then they were to use only their sense of sight and touch to explore the herbs and spices in front of them.  Each student was to choose their favorite without using their sense of smell.  After everyone in each group had the opportunity to touch and look at the different cups, I asked everyone to smell each cup and decide if the cup they initially chose was still their favorite.
Most everyone said no..! As a class, we smelled one cup at a time and talked about the herb or spice that was in the cup.  For this activity, we used: french lavender, lavender, rosemary, lemon pepper, cinnamon, basil, clove, & garlic.  This was a very aromatic experience that was truly a sensory experience for our students! The last part of the activity, each student was able to use as many herbs and spices to make their gluten free dough smell good!

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