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English - Get a taste for words

What the lesson is about

It looked innocent enough: short, amusingly rotund and the most innocuous shade of pale yellow. But seconds after tasting it, I thought I might die, writes Steve Eddison.

My wife rushed into the kitchen to see what the matter was. Not that I could tell her. The best I could manage was rapid breathing interspersed with violent expletives and bouts of trying - like The Tiger Who Came to Tea - to drink the tap dry.

Several gallons of water later, I was able to explain that I was experimenting with chilli as an ingredient for my next English lesson.

Young children love to tell stories; the teacher's task is to turn them into storytellers. An effective way to get them to develop their descriptive vocabulary is by using all their senses, including taste.

"Imagine," I tell them, "that you are a prisoner chained up in a pitch- black cell in a strange land. You haven't eaten for days and you're at the point of starvation. You hear the scraping sound of a plate pushed under the door. Food at last! But what kind? What will it smell like? What will it taste of? What will it feel like in your mouth?

The lesson mainly involves children wearing blindfolds, tentatively sniffing, licking, chewing, sucking and occasionally swallowing various items of a hopefully edible nature. We compose and record descriptions as we go along.

What else?

If food tasting isn't your thing, try krista_carson's homelessness-themed lesson to develop descriptive writing. It's one of the most popular TES resources. Get children thinking with their senses with a PowerPoint from Miss R.

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