I have the students complete the attached sensory evaluation using 24 common herbs and spices. They must describe the aroma and appearance in this activity. After all, I smell chili when I smell cumin and more students smell taco seasoning than chili. I tell them to make it as personal as possible to remember them for later activities. I always include the following, as they go along with the taste testing activities within this unit plan: anise, nutmeg, mint, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, sage, paprika, basil, mustard, thyme, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne/red pepper. Select any other 10 you commonly see your students using.
I have students work modules in groups of 4, they have 3-4 minutes to rotate a set of 4 herbs and spices between their group, they then rotate to the next station until all 24 have been evaluated. I do not tell them ahead of time, but they can use the notes from this sensory evaluation on sensory evaluations 2 and 3.