SugarByHalf - Communicating the Science of Tooth Decay

SugarByHalf - Communicating the Science of Tooth Decay

Lesson 4 of 4 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Social
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students will carry out an experiment, document the results, and then use the resulting documentation to communicate their findings to younger students. The lesson gives students a chance to think critically about teaching as a discipline, and about communicating scientific learning to support the wellbeing of their community.

If you are doing this whole unit, we recommend carrying out the first part of this lesson at the start of the unit, so that you have time to observe the results of the experiment while carrying out the other lessons. The second half of the lesson then draws on student learning from the rest of the lessons in the unit to inform their science communication project.

Learning intentions:

Students understand...

  • the principles of science communication
  • how to create teaching materials for other students to learn from
  • some of the ideas behind teaching and learning.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • carry out experiments and record their findings
  • communicate complex scientific knowledge to younger audiences
  • work together to reflect on teaching and learning.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

  • This lesson is part of the wider unit of work SugarByHalf – Science – Years 9-10
  • Time required: 70+ mins
  • Level of teacher scaffolding: High – monitoring an experiment, potentially over a longer period of time, and organising a trip to another class

To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here

To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here

Resources required

  • Beakers
  • Cameras (phone cameras will work)
  • Eggs
  • Fluoride rinse
  • Some sort of standard student-lab-appropriate acid

Additional info

These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and the Australian Dental Association.

SugarByHalf 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.
  • Avoid using labels such as obese or diabetic. Refer to people living with diabetes, people living with cancer, people with high BMI etc
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