Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
What’s your favorite fragrance? How about your students? Do they love flowery, fruity, sweet seasonal smells?
In many parts of the world, the seasons and fragrances are changing now – summer to fall or winter to spring.
The coming season’s flowers and fruits will take center stage in different regions. Flower and fruit crops depend on climate, of course – a potential connection between attention-getting fragrances and social studies and/or science lessons.
What fragrances do you associate with each season? Let’s start with fruit…Choose a fruit that is popular now where you live and teach.
I love autumn apples. Apples evoke the sense of taste faster than the sense of smell in most people, but how about the lovely aroma of baked apple pie! Here’s a plan…
HOST APPLE (or other fruit of your choice) DAY – Use the fragrance of apples to “kick off” an attention-getting – Apple Day in your classroom.
1) Announce Apple Day at the start of school.
2) Ask students to name one fruit fragrance that is closely associated with teachers. It may take a minute for them to come up with the apple answer. When they do, ask for a show hands for apple-lovers. Ask for a show of hands for anyone who has ever brought an apple to a teacher!
3) Pre-cut several apples into slices in your classroom and then set them out of view.
4) Ask students if anyone can guess the fragrance they smell in the room. This is an attention-getting trick of its own.
5) Show the class your basket of apples. Pass the pre-cut pieces around the room, reminding children to smell, not eat, the slices.
4) Tell students that on Apple Day, they need to be on the lookout for apples all day long, because you will…
use Apple Day to lead into lessons in K – 2 classes. For example, when you begin math time, hold up a poster of apples and ask kids to count them with you.
As the day progresses, ask who remembers the fragrance of apples. Invite the class to join in a cheer: “Hooray for apples, it’s Apple Day!” Students will associate the lessons you serve up on Apple Day with the sweet fruit fragrance.
Serving up sweet, flowery, fruity fragrances – also known as aromatherapy – offers teachers research-based benefits in helping students.
Recent research from The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, IL (US) suggests that the smell of green apples may help reduce anxiety levels and also alleviate migraine headaches. Other research has confirmed what chocolate -lovers already know – certain aromas, like chocolate, give people an instant emotional lift.
Try another way to put smell power to work in your class:
PLAY A GAME OF NAME THE MYSTERY SMELL – Use this quick and easy activity to gain the class’ attention:
- leading into a new lesson.
- before you have an important announcement to make.
1) Give the class a few minutes of free quiet reading time at their desks while you get out the nutmeg you’ve brought to school. Pour the nutmeg into a porous but non-see-through container.
2) Announce to the class that it’s time to play Name the Mystery Smell. Before you walk around the classroom inviting students to sniff and guess, give hints about the mystery fragrance by telling the class how it is used – in baking cookies, for example.
LET’S VISIT LOLLIPOP GARDEN – Is there anything sweeter than a lollipop? No question – too much sugar isn’t good for children (or adults) and dentists shudder over elementary school students sucking on lollipops – but children love lollipops and they do smell sweet.
Here’s a creative language arts activity that features the lollipop in a make-believe world…
1) Catch the class’ attention by announcing that it’s time to visit Lollipop Garden! Ask if lollipops smell and taste sweet.
2) Read the poem that I’ve written (see below) to your class. Ask children to listen for foods they can smell and taste.
3) Pass around white or light-colored construction paper.
4) Invite students to draw and color a lollipop garden of their own, after hearing the poem. NOTE: At a later time, you can lead the class in another language arts activity, asking children to write their own lollipop garden poems.
OPTIONAL: Give each child a lollipop to take home.
Have you been to Lollipop Garden
Where all kinds of sweet things grow?
There are marshmallow plants and lollipop flowers
Candycanes all in a row.
In Lollipop Garden the sun always shines,
The sky’s always bright, bright blue.
There’s a gingerbread man in a neat little house;
He’s waiting to welcome you.
Bring a basket to Lollipop Garden,
Fill it with candy bars.
You’ll find chocolate trees and sprinkles on cones,
And bright frosted wishing stars.
In Lollipop Garden your dreams will come true,
Good feelings will chase away fears.
It’s the most special place; the fun you’ll have there
Will last throughout the years.
When you serve up sweet, flowery, fruity fragrances, attention goes as the nose knows! Activities that involve aromatherapy help students focus on you and on learning!
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
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Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet