Perfume Provocation

It all started with an episode of Peppa Pig.
This term we have watched an episode of Peppa Pig each day as we finish off our second break snack. I am very impressed with the educational topics covered in this popular series. Quite a number of investigations have been born through our Peppa Pig ritual.
As we watched this episode together, I remembered how much my own children enjoyed creating perfumes and magic potions from carefully selected flowers and leaves in our yard. When I asked the class if they would like to make their own perfume there was much excitement and a lively discussion followed. Of course I had to set up a perfume provocation.

I collected scented flowers and leaves from my garden and bought a few herb plants. I put them into individually labelled bowls and vases. I also added three pretty bottles for the liquid ingredients: oil (I used clear baby oil), water (I added a touch of colouring) and alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Next came the scissors and child-safe knives for chopping and cutting. I placed them on a couple of paper plates which made fantastic cutting boards. I added some pipettes to measure the liquids and some little jars from the discount store as I knew they would want to take their perfume home. Finally, and most importantly for me,  I made a Perfume Recipe sheet for the children to record their perfume creation and supplied a couple of clipboards and a selection of pens and pencils. You can download the Perfume Recipe sheet here. Oh yes! I added a suggested process poster and some printed recipes which you can download here. I also added some cookbooks for reference.
This provocation was a huge hit. We had to make a booking sheet for children waiting to design their own perfume. You will notice on the Perfume Recipe sheet there is a space for the children to name their perfume. After a discussion on advertising (which led into consumer awareness), the children began to invent some fantastic perfume labels. We had "Princess Rainbow" which had a very heavy rose scent and a class favourite. Two children copied this child's recipe very carefully in order to re-create the much sort after brew. We also had "Lightsaber Dreams" which unfortunately had way too much alcohol. The alcohol over-powered the wattle and rosemary scent and word quickly spread that only one drop of alcohol to every 10 drops of oil or water was more than sufficient.
From this provocation came a class study on recipes. We read Wombat Stew and wrote our own silly recipes. Children started to bring in family favourite recipes and they decided to make a class cookbook to be copied and shared. This was illustrated by the children of course. This provocation also sparked an interest in flowers and herbs and we have plans to plant some outside our classroom so that perfume making can continue during outside play time. Children brought in beautiful flowers from their own gardens and we had some lovely watercolour paintings happening as a result.
What a wonderful learning experience it was for all of us and I am so happy with the literacy and numeracy objectives we achieved just in a couple of weeks.

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