Number one for English language teachers

Miscellaneous: The smell game

Level: Starter/beginner, Elementary, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate Type: Extra

I call it the 'smell game' but it also introduces how to describe tastes.

smells

Materials needed

  • Aromatic food items such as garlic, ginger, curry powder, chocolate (Hershey's chocolate kisses work well and you can give them out to students afterwards), wasabi or horseradish, lemon, orange, hot mustard, ground coffee, onion, etc...
  • You may also want to include a list of food items that includes what you have brought but always have more items on the list than what you have in your bag of items. This adds to the guess work.

Procedure

Stage 1

  • Write on the board:  'does it smell______?'
  • Below write the line:  'it smells ________.'
  • Next, write the line 'is it______________?'
  • Below write these words describing smells/ tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, hot, citrus, spicy, fishy (you may want to explain you can add a 'y' to a noun to create an adjective). etc...

Stage 2

  • Ask the students if they know the corresponding word in their language and write it on the board next to its English equivalent.
  • Tell the students you want to practise smell/ taste vocabulary and listing using 'and'. Give an example e.g. lemon. Have a student ask you 'does it smell sweet?' 'does it smell _____' until they have gone through the list. Put a checkmark on the board next to each smell word that describes what you are smelling and make sure you have smell/ taste words to use in your reply so you may give an example of how to use 'and'.
  • You reply, 'it smells _____' using one of the descriptive words. Next show by example when using two and three descriptive words how to use 'and'. You say 'it smells ____ and ____.' 'It smells _____, ______, and ______.'
  • Now have the students come up and have a smell of the food stuff behind a podium or under a desk or coat. Then let the students elicit the description from the person smelling and guess what food items the student smelled using the line 'is it _______?'

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