Grade 6 Lesson 3: How Much Sugar is in Your Favorite Drinks?
Ranking Activity: 20 minutes
Small-Group Work: 15 minutes
Conclusion: 5 minutes
|Total Time: 40 minutes|
- Review this lesson, including the documents listed in the Materials Needed section. For background information, review Teacher 411: Beverages.
- Make copies of the handout and worksheets listed in the Materials Needed section.
- Prior to Part A of the lesson, line up the 10 beverage containers on a table or desk in no particular order. (Students should not be able to see the Nutrition Facts labels.)
- Gather the other materials needed for the salt-measuring activity. (See Part B.) Equally distribute the salt from both boxes into the 5 containers (that is, approximately 1 cup in each container).
- identify important information on Nutrition Facts labels on beverages
- perform calculations using information on Nutrition Facts labels on beverages
- identify alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages
- Ask a few students to name their favorite sugar-sweetened beverage. Then ask all students to raise their hand if they’ve ever read the Nutrition Facts label on their favorite beverage. Tell students they’re going to learn about how much sugar is in certain beverages, as well as some of the effects that too much sugar can have on their body.
- State or paraphrase the following:
There are two types of sugar in foods: natural sugars, which occur naturally in foods, and added sugars, which are added either in a factory or by the person making or eating the food. Fruits and 100% fruit juices contain only natural sugars. Natural sugars are healthier to eat because they’re found in whole foods—and whole foods supply more nutrients.
Sugars that don’t occur naturally, but instead have been added, are found in many foods. These foods include cookies, cakes, pickles, jelly, soft drinks, and energy drinks. What are types of added sugars? (Possible answers: Raw sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup) Besides making foods taste sweet, added sugars also serve as a preservative.
Added sugars contain 16 calories per teaspoon, and they don’t provide any healthy nutrients. Consuming a lot of them can lead to excess weight or Type 2 diabetes. So it’s a good idea to consume added sugars in moderation.
Today we’re going to focus on the amount of sugar in beverages, especially added sugars.
- Give each student a copy of the Hypothesis: Sugar Content and Beverages Chart worksheets. Instruct students to complete Question 1 of their Hypothesis worksheet by referring to the beverage containers lined up on the table. Tell them to record their rankings in their Beverages Chart worksheet by writing the names of the beverages in the first column.
- Have students briefly discuss their rankings. Based on their feedback or a class consensus, re-order the beverages from “most sugar” to “least sugar” (from left to right). On a blank transparency, write the names of the beverages in the order in which they’ve been ranked. (Save this transparency since you will use it again in Part B of the lesson.)
- Tell students that salt is going to represent sugar. Demonstrate the size of 1 teaspoon by measuring out this amount of salt and showing it to them.
- Direct students’ attention to Question 2 of their Hypothesis worksheet and tell them to complete it.
- Inform students that later they’re going to check the accuracy of the class’s ranking by calculating and measuring the amount of sugar in the beverages. Point out that first they need to know how to calculate grams of sugar in beverages.
- Holding up one of the containers, point out to students the Nutrition Facts label and the information it includes (such as serving size, sugar, calories, and fat). Explain that a serving size for a drink is usually 8 fluid ounces—not an entire 20-fluid-ounce bottle of a soft drink or all 16 fluid ounces of a medium-sized latte.
- Give each student a Nutrition Facts Label handout. Explain that the amount of sugars indicated in a Nutrition Facts label includes both natural and added sugars. Point out, for example, that the orange-flavored drink isn’t a 100% fruit juice containing only natural sugars—instead, it’s mostly colored water with a lot of added sugars. As needed, go over the handout with students to make sure they understand the steps for calculating the grams of sugar in the beverage.
- Tell students that in the next CATCH lesson they’re going to test the accuracy of the class’s ranking of beverages, as well as their hypotheses on the worksheet.
- Divide students into five groups, and give each group two beverage containers. Try to distribute the containers so that each group gets one beverage that contains relatively few or 0 grams of sugar.
- Instruct students to complete Questions 3 and 4 of their Hypothesis worksheet. Tell them that even though they should do the calculations as a group, each student should fill in his or her own Beverages Chart. Point out that since it’s important for them to see just how much sugar beverages can contain, they’re going to measure out salt and imagine that it’s sugar.
- Check each group’s completed work. The Sample Beverages Answer Sheet or a calculator can serve as an aid. Then give the group a container of salt, a measuring teaspoon, and two small, clear cups or dishes. Instruct students to measure, for each container, the appropriate amount of “sugar” into the cup or dish. (For beverages containing large amounts of sugar, more than one cup or dish may be needed.)
- Ask representatives to report their group’s calculations of teaspoons of sugar per container. Record these calculations next to the names of the beverages on the transparency you created in Part A. Then ask all the representatives to work together to line up the drink containers in the correct order, along with the cups or dishes of “sugar” that go with them.
- Instruct students to (1) complete Questions 5 and 6 of their Hypothesis worksheet, (2) fill in the fourth column of their Beverages Chart using the values on the transparency, and (3) fill in the last column of their Beverages Chart with the correct ranking of the drinks, which can be seen from the current order of the containers.
- Ask a few students to briefly share their answers to Questions 5 and 6 on their worksheet
- State or paraphrase the following:
Of all the beverages you can drink, water is the healthiest. The majority of your drink “diet” should consist of water, followed by fat-free or 1% milk, followed by small amounts of 100% fruit juices.
Sports drinks are appropriate to drink only after you’ve done vigorous exercise for more than an hour, especially when you’ve sweated a lot.
Large amounts of sugar can lead to excess weight and Type 2 diabetes. As you’ve seen, many beverages contain a lot of sugar. This is why it’s important to drink sugar-sweetened beverages only in moderation—and that includes sports drinks, energy drinks, soft drinks, fruit flavored drinks, juice drinks, and coffee drinks.
- Ask students to compare the amount of sugars in beverages not used in the classroom activity. Encourage them to read the ingredients list to find out whether the sugars are natural or added.
- Ask students to investigate the total number of calories in beverages they and their classmates drink frequently. A classroom activity in which beverages are ranked according to number of calories can be done by following a similar procedure as the one used to rank beverages according to amount of sugar.
- Adapted from HEADS UP 2008 Nutrition/Physical Activity Second Edition module “How Much Sugar Is in Your Favorite Drinks?” activity
Texas TEKS Standards
Science: TEKS – 6.2ABC, 6.3B; TAKS – 1
Health Education: TEKS – 6.1AB
Mathematics: TEKS – 6.1A, 6.2BC, 6.8BCD, 6.11A, 6.12AB; TAKS – 1, 4, 6