A very practical lesson using sugary drinks to explore the relationship between liquids and solids. The lesson contains two experiments. For the first a stove or electric camping stove is needed.
Students begin by watching a video of a person boiling down a soft drink to reveal its sugar content. They then undertake an experiment to find out how a range of five liquids impact substances similar to teeth – eggshells or chalk. This experiment needs to be left overnight. The next day, students record the details of their experiment including their prediction for what would happen and the actual results.
- understand that sugar is a solid that behaves in certain ways with other solids and liquids
- understand the importance of experiments in food research
- understand the importance of recording research outcomes
- observe and participate in an experiment
- explain why original experiments are necessary
- complete a record of the experiment conducted
Lesson guides and printables
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- Experiment Record worksheet
- Part A experiment – saucepan, soft drink and stove
- Part B experiment – eggshells or drawing chalk, vinegar, soft drink, lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, 15 clear glasses or plastic cups, sticker labels, waterproof textas
These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and the Australian Dental Association. Guardians of the Gums was written by Bee Healthy Stories; if you would like to see more of their stories, head to beehealthystories.com.au.
SugarByHalf (https://www.sugarbyhalf.com/) promotes action to reduce sugar-related diseases so that we can live better, stronger and healthier lives.
Their message is simple: to reduce added sugar consumption by half. Eating too much added sugar is a key driver of serious health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, dementia and mental health conditions. A poor diet also puts children behind their peers, affecting brain development, sleep and ability to learn. Poor diet choices ultimately mean that this generation of children could be the first in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents.
Much of the added sugar in our diet comes from the processed foods and drinks we consume. On average, we consume 14-16 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Teenagers consume more than 20 teaspoons per day. The World Health Organisation says we should limit our daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons for good health. To put that in perspective, there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. If something has 20 grams of sugar, that's 5 teaspoons of sugar.
This English lesson focuses on developing the skills and knowledge students need to critically consider messages about food and drink they are exposed to, thereby equipping them to be able to make healthy choices.
Talking about health
- Be mindful of students who may experience weight stigma. Some students may be sensitive to conversations around weight, body size or shape. Terms including obesity, weight issues, weight-problem and fat can be stigmatising for some people because they assign blame. It is important to note individual preferences around language vary. Research has shown using the terms ‘weight’, ‘weight gain’, ‘healthy weight’, ‘unhealthy weight’, and ‘high BMI’ are preferred as better alternatives.
- Be mindful about how you use the word ‘diet’. We recommend focussing students on the positive impacts of healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles which help us to have stronger bodies and minds, feel good and sleep well.
- Steer students away from any focus on appearances by communicating that appearance does not determine your worth. We recommend the fact sheets from the Butterfly Foundation on body image tips at
- Avoid using labels such as obese or diabetic. Refer to people living with diabetes, people living with cancer, people with high BMI etc.