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Lesson Plan: Beverages' impact on health

'It's just a beverage...it can't hurt me''

Submitted by Delaine Stendahl, FCS Educator, Whitehall School District (Whitehall, WI)
December 8, 2012
Click here to download this Lesson Plan as a 2-page PDF document.

Students identify the health and calorie impact of beverages they consume and then implement changes to healthier selections of food and beverages.

Anticipatory Set
  • The day prior to the class lesson, tell students to keep track of what they drink and how much they drink for 24 hours. They are to use the student worksheet, Beverage Lab Handout 1 to track only the name of the drink and the quantity. NO OTHER DATA YET.
  • Upon returning to class have students list all the types of drinks consumed on the whiteboard or flip chart.
  • Have students hypothesize which drinks were healthy and which ones were not.

Teaching: Input
  • Distribute student handout, "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" Handout 2. Review the questions related to the video series, “Honey, We’re Killing the Kids.”  This sheet is designed for the Barkman family, which is episode number 9 in the series. Any episode will work but would require modification of the questions.
  • Students view and record responses to the questions from the video.

Teaching: Modeling
  • Teacher asks the students for reactions to the video.  What are the concerns illustrated in the video? What is the impact of food choice? What are some positive ways to improve our health and longevity?
  • Teacher asks, “So, how do we evaluate what we eat and drink to make healthier choices?”
  • Allow for student responses.
  • Interactive technology: Using FDA resource, “Make your Calories Count” (http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/NFLPM/ucm275438.htm) have the students use the interactive website in groups or teams to explore how to use a nutrition label and how a nutrition label can assist in healthy food selection.
  • Teacher demonstration on the use of an electronic food scale.

Teaching: Check for understanding
  • Either as a teacher demonstration or student activity, complete the activity as directed on the handout, Sugar Consumption Handout 3.
  • Distribute the Sugar, Fat and Beverage Handout 4 to teams or groups of students. Have each team brainstorm/hypothesize the healthiest and least healthy beverages on the handout.
  • Using the skills gained on reading nutrition labels from the “Make Your Calories Count” online resource and actual beverage containers, students then record the nutritional information for beverages on student worksheet, Sugar, Fat and Beverage Handout 4. Teacher Note: The items can be adjusted to fit beverage patterns specific to your community. Collection of containers from recycling areas within your building is an excellent way to obtain these items. It works great to store them in a tote to use each time you teach this lesson.
  • Use large group discussion to debrief on data collected.

Guided Practice
  • Students now refer back to the worksheet, Beverage Lab Handout 1 and finish entering data for the beverages they drank in a 24-hour period of time.


Resources for the lessons
  • Video from TLC Discovery Channel: “Honey, We’re Killing the Kids:" Episode 9 The Barkmans
  • Beverage Lab Handout 1
  • Honey We're Killing the Kids Handout 2
  • Sugar Consumption Handout 3
  • Sugar, Fat and Beverage Handout 4
  • Assortment of beverage containers-generally recycled and collected over time or by asking students to bring in to class. Later stored in tote to use with lesson thereafter
  • Electronic food scale/scales
  • Basic lab supplies, trays, sugar, custard cups, zip top bags, labels, markers, etc.
  • Computer lab access or other electronic devices such as smartphones, iPads, etc.
  • Whiteboard, flip chart, etc.

  • Science Fair displays on beverages and nutritional impact
  • Short video productions such as an "Animoto"
  • Use of apps to track beverage habits, ie, "Fooducate," "Eat This, Not That," etc.  
  • FCCLA STAR event projects such as Nutrition and Wellness, Student Body, etc.
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