1. Tongue Test – Wash your hands. Stick out your tongue as far as it can go. Grab your tongue with your clean fingers. Try saying something while holding your tongue like your name, the days of the weeks or even try to sing a song. Is this easy? Are the words pronounced clearly?
2. Tongue Map – draw an outline of a giant tongue on a piece of white paper with a red pencil. Set the paper aside. Set up four plastic cups, each on top of a piece of paper. Pour a little lemon juice (sour) into one cup, and a little tonic water (bitter) into another. Mix up sugar water (sweet) and salt water (salty) for the last two cups. Label each piece of paper with the name of the liquid in the cup—not with the taste.
Take toothpicks and dip them in one of the cups. Place the stick on the tip of their tongue. Do you taste anything? What does it taste like? Dip again and repeat on the sides, flat surface, and back of the tongue.
Once you recognize the taste and where on your tongue the taste is the strongest, write the name of the taste—not the liquid—in the corresponding space on the tongue drawing.
Rinse your mouth with some water, and repeat this process with the rest of the liquids. Fill in the “tongue map,” by writing in all the tastes. If you like, draw taste buds and color in the tongue too.
What is your tongue used for? Can you think of anything? Sure you can…like licking ice cream, making faces, and tasting things. Do you know how do taste buds work? You may be wondering what’s the deal with those little white bumps all over your tongue? In fact, there are some other surprising usages for your tongue that are pretty gross. Ewwww!
Listen to the short Who Smarted? episode for kids about the Tongue for free here!
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