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Activity

Plants and smells match

Summary: 
View plants and match with their odours.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Life Science: Plant Growth and Changes (grade 3)
Materials: 
    Plant samples, and their odour in an opaque squeezy bottle, suggestions below:
  • coffee beans, in a glass jar, and in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
  • lemon slices in a glass jar and lemon essence in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
  • cedar wood piece in a glass jar and cedar essence or odiforous cedar wood in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
  • lavender flower heads in a glass jar and lavender essence in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
  • oregano leaves in a glass jar and oregano essence or odiforous leaves in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
  • cinnamon sticks in a glass jar and cinnamon essence or odiforous cinammon sticks in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
  • garlic head in a glass jar and garlic essence or odiforous cut garlic bulb in an opaque plastic squeezy bottle
Procedure: 

Squeeze and sniff the smelly bottles.
Look at the plant pieces inside the glass jars.
Match each smelly bottle and jar of plant pieces with the picture of the plants they come from.

For younger students, duplicate the smelly bottles, and ask them to match up the ones that smell the same - use fruity smells too.
For very young students make into a game, where each table is a team. All tables are given the same-smelling tube at one time. The students at a table work together to try and guess what the smell is, and write it down. When the time is up, they hold up their written answer.

Optional for older students: which part of the plant dos each plant piece come from? (Leaves, flowers, seeds, bark or trunk?)
Coffee beans are seeds.
Cedar wood is the trunk.
Lemons are the fruit.
Lavender is the flower.
Oregano is the leaves.
Cinammon is the bark.
Garlic is the bulb (underground leaves).

Grades tested: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6
Gr 7
Teacher: 
Ingrid
Self guided
Teaching site: 
After School Program at Elementary schools in New York City
Science World
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Science World