Track Taste Buds

Stick your tongue out. Look at it in a mirror. Do you see small bumps all over your tongue? Those small bumps are taste buds. They are the parts of your tongue that help you taste the food you eat. Do the activity below to find out how your taste buds react.

Materials

A open mouth with areas of the tongue outlined.

Procedure

Test your taste buds. Ask an adult family member to test his or her taste buds, too. Dip a moistened cotton swab in sugar. Touch the swab to the front, back, and sides of your tongue. Note the part of the tongue where you sense a sweet taste most clearly. Then rinse your mouth with water. Repeat the procedure for salt, lemon juice, and coffee.

Results

Where in your mouth did you most clearly sense each of these tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter? Label the drawing of the tongue above to show where taste buds for each taste are located.