This free, printable, unit study is a ministry of Heather Idoni, and Funschooling Units
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by Karen Caroe

Before you begin, please note a special feature to this unit. 
Activities marked with an asterisk (**) have additional information 
available on a separate printable TEACHER HELPS page.
Or Click Here


Spring is in the air! Creation is returning to life after a long winter's nap. It is so exciting to walk outside and smell "freshness." Have you ever thought about how wonderful and complex our sense of smell is? Because God created us to breathe "automatically" we often take our sense of smell for granted. God, however took it very seriously when He created it. Smell is so important to God that 3 of the 5 sacrifices God gave to Israel are called the "sweet savor" (pleasing aroma) sacrifices! Although this unit will cover the actual physiological process of how we smell, it is really about WHAT we smell and how it affects our lives. The lovesick Romeo spoke metaphorically of his beautiful Juliet when he said, "....a rose by any other name would smell as sweet......" Hmmmm, is that true? Shakespeare also said, "What's in a name?" Suppose Juliet had been named Hagar? :o) 'Tis a wondrous thought to ponder but.........on to the unit!


All of these are optional depending on what activities you choose. I like knowing ahead of time so I thought I'd list them right up front.
1) magazines with lots of faces so your children can cut out "noses."
2) pictures of things that smell good and bad.
3) A dictionary
4**) A "body" book such as those available from Dorling Kindersley. (e-mail me for more info)
5)Scratch and sniff stickers
Your Gross and Cool Body - Sense of Smell
7) Candle making supplies (wax, wax crayons, essential oils)
8) Lip Balm and Crème Perfume supplies (Beeswax-one or 2 ounces, essential oils, sweet almond oil --about 2 ounces)
9) Scented Bath Oils and Crystals supplies (Course salt or sea salt, food coloring, glycerin, sweet almond oil, essential oils)
10) Just for fun--scented markers, perfume samples from a dept. store, potpourri.


olfactory nerve, nose, nasal, mucus, smell, odor, fragrance, stench, aroma, perfume, stink, savor, inhale, exhale, aromatherapy, floral, musk.
(***Note: This is a good unit for which to teach synonyms and use of the thesaurus. You may want to select one of the words and see how many others your student can research.)


1.) Visit a perfume counter or shop to learn about various fragrances. Ask questions about cost, labels, popularity, classifications, etc.
2) Visit a florist or nursery to learn about the most fragrant plants. Are they hybrids? How can you plant your own "fragrant" garden.
3) Visit a market or grocery store and "smell" the fruits and vegetables. Can you tell how good something will taste by the smell?
4) Visit a candle shop and smell the different fragrances or visit a place that actually makes candles.
5) See if your local police dept. has a canine officer or call your local canine club to set up a demonstration of how dogs are used to solve crimes because of their sense of smell.
6) Visit a plastic surgeon or see if you can borrow a video of a "nose job". Find out why people change their noses. Cosmetics or health?
7) Visit and interview an E.N.T (ear,nose and throat) physician. Ask career-related questions.
8) Armed with notebook in hand, visit a Wal-mart and going from dept. to dept, see how many items you can find that were manufactured to produce, cover, hide or remove odors. (i.e., perfume, plug-ins, diaper genie, air freshener, car fresheners, scented garbage bags, odor eaters. etc.)


Select one or more of the following activities to introduce the unit to your children.
1) Take a walk and discuss what you smell. Look for the source of the smell.
2) Tell your children you are going to go on a nature walk but blindfold one or more of them. Tell them they can't see nature on this walk. They must try to smell it. Have them describe what they smell.
3) Using items from the kitchen and bathroom, blindfold your children and have them identify different smells. CAUTION: don't use items like cleansers or glue which may be poison or which may cause physical reactions when inhaled.
4) Have children write (or dictate to you) how they think our "sniffers" work.


During this unit, you will be reading Leviticus 1-3 where the "sweet savor" sacrifices are given.
1) For younger students, you may want to read it yourself and then narrate it to them. Or, you may just want to do a little bit at a time.
2) For older students, you may want to have them continue reading through Leviticus Chapter 5 to get all the offerings.
3**) Discuss with younger children why these sacrifices are important for us to know--that Christ is the fulfillment of them. Tell how Christ fulfills each sacrifice.
4) Have older children write a composition comparing the different offerings or telling why 3 were a "sweet savor" and 2 were not. Note: This counts as Language Arts project, as well.
5) For an expansion of the unit read John 19:38-42 about the burial of Jesus. Talk about the spices and fragrances that were used and why. Lead older children into making the relationship between the sacrifices of the old testament Christ's sacrifice.
6) Look for other examples of "fragrance" in the Bible. i.e., the bottle of perfume poured out on the feet of Jesus.


1) Learn the parts of the nose, nasal cavity and sinuses.
2) If possible, discuss the sense of smell among members of the Animal Kingdom--especially if you've studied other animals in the past.
3**) Find out how smells are made.
4**) Learn about the actual process of smelling.
5**) Do and experiment on Selective Smelling.
6**) Discover why there is a strong connection between taste and smell.
7) Is there a way to test if there is a connection between smell and any other senses? Note: This is a good time to introduce all 5 senses if you haven't already done so.
8**) Do some research on how smell diminishes with age. Why could this be a bad thing? Does the sense of taste diminish with the sense of smell?
9**) Have older children research disease-related loss of smell.
10) Write a paper answering this question: "Can smells "hurt" you?
11) If smells can "hurt" you, do they have the ability to help you? Research Aromatherapy. (More under Social Studies)
12) As an expansion topic----study the Plant Kingdom. Younger students can be introduced to classification. Older students can focus on Flowers --fragrant and non-fragrant. Also creating fragrances with hybrids. What about flowers you can eat? :o)
13) Plant your own "fragrance" garden


1) Research the history of perfumes and soaps. Find out why they were first used. What is the earliest reference that can be found?
2) Research the use of "smells" for medicinal purposes (For example garlic to cure a cold).
3) Research superstitions around fragrances.
4) For older students, we can look back a couple of hundred years and giggle over what people believed and how they used perfume. In 100 or 200 years from now, what do you think will be "recorded history" regarding the smells of the 20th Century or even just of the 1990's?


1) Learn how bloodhounds or other dogs can be used to help solve crimes or prevent them.
2) Learn the difference between aromachology and aroma therapy.
3**) How can fragrances benefit our lives. Learn what fragrances produce what kind of results.
4) Career opportunities. Take a field trip to visit one or more people who deal with noses and/or fragrances.
5) Interview a sales clerk at a Perfume counter. Ask about popular fragrances, costs, marketing a fragrance, etc. (This is also a wonderful language arts project) Write up a report of the interview.


1**) Read a book about "smells." There are several good children's books available.
2) Look at advertising for perfumes. (Parental discretion advised) Talk about advertising.
3) Design, name and create labels for your own fragrance. Do a marketing plan.
4) A good expansion topic for this unit --or a spin off to another unit would be marketing and advertising.
5) Write a composition, report, or short story about what you've learned. Edit your paper and put it into a final copy. Spray it with perfume and store it in a manila envelope or folder.


1) Practice simple graphing skills. Using 2 or 3 fragrances on a cotton ball and placed in a plastic bag, ask people which is their favorite. Tally and graph the results.
2) Find out the difference in cost between cologne, perfume, powder, and lotion when it is all the same fragrance.
3) Visit an advertising agency to find out the process involved with buying advertising and having an ad campaign designed.
4) Research and chart the cost of billboard, newspaper, radio, and TV advertising. Which is most effective?


1**) Make one or more of the following: Scented Bath Crystals, Bath Oil, Lip Balm, Crème perfume, Body Mist, soap, or scented candles.
2) Design a marketing campaign for your "products."
3) Use pre-packaged potpourri to make small sachets to give as gifts.


I hope you enjoyed doing this unit as much as I did writing it. This unit is full of exploration and hands-on activities. Please don't forget to check out the Teacher Resource page for additional information.



For questions, comments, and suggestions, Please e-mail Heather at

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