Standards Aligned:
How Do We Smell?
Food Memory
Place of Learning: 
90-120 Min
Grade Level: 

ESY Berkeley Teaching Staff
Edible Schoolyard Project
Berkeley, CA

This lesson explores the science behind our sense of smell. Students will watch a video that introduces them to how smell works in the brain and body. Next, students will explore the aromas of spices in their home cabinets. Following that activity, they will watch the video again and fill out a structured worksheet. Lastly, students will explore how smell connects to memories and finish with a fun word search on vocabulary.
Student Learning Goals & Objectives: 
  • Cooking with confidence 
  • Sense of curiosity
  • Reinforce academic concepts in history and science
  • Development a relationship with food (unrelated to dieting) 

Students will be able to:

  • Understand introductory information how smell works.
  • Connect their sense of smell to personal memories.
  • Identify and describe different smells of spices and connect the smells of those spices to personal memories.
Procedure Steps: 
Before Students Get Started
  • Collect all the materials listed above.
  • Included in a lesson is a downloadable student version of the lesson plan, which details all directions on how to complete the lesson.  
  • This lesson involves using worksheets. If you are not able to provide students with hard copies of the lesson or if students do not have printers, direct them to copy the worksheets onto a sheet of paper.
  • For the structured worksheet that accompanies the video and smell lab worksheet we have provided a fillable PDF.  
10 Min

Students will watch a video on how smell works. To view the video, students will go to Or can type:

10 min

Students will go into their kitchens and take out at least three different spices.

20 Min

Using the spices from their kitchen, students will fill out a Smell Lab Sheet.

10-20 Min
Watch Again

Students will watch the video again. This time, students will be filling out the Structured Worksheet for Video. Refer to teacher version of the worksheet for the answer key.

20 Min
Write / Reflect

Students will fill out a version of the Edible Schoolyard’s Food Memory Sheet, focused on memories of spices.

10-20 Min

Students will go to someone in their house and ask them to smell one of the spices and will write down the memory they describe to them. They can use this sheet or a piece of paper to record their answers: Family Food Memory Sheet.

10-20 Min

Find some of the words discussed in the video in this Word Search.

Teacher Notes