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Lesson Plans

Use this Lesson Plan with the following health topics or with other relevant content from the textbook:
  • Micronutrients
  • Nutrition

Cross Curriculum Lesson Plan: Math
Student Resource: "Study Finds Soft Drink Consumption Up, Health Down"
Media Type: Research Report/Array


After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the nutrient density of soft drinks as compared with milk.
  • Identify specific micronutrients that are essential for good health during the teen years and in the future.
  • Explain the role of nutrients in the body and in staving off disease.

Introducing the Lesson

Point out or remind students that we make decisions every day—some small, some not so small. Ask students to provide examples of major and minor decisions. Record some of their responses on the board under appropriate headings. Observe that some decisions, which appear on the surface to have minor consequences, can have far-reaching and sometimes devastating consequences. Note that they are going to learn about one such decision—the choice of beverages at mealtime and as a snack.

Ask for a show of hands of students who regularly consume soft drinks and/or milk. Then ask: How many of you would say you drink twice as much soda pop as milk? Have students enter this piece of data on a sheet of paper. Elicit the number who drink twice as much milk as soda, and have students note this data entry as well. Finally, have students note the total number of respondents present today and record that number.

Teaching Strategies

Explain that students are about to find out, among other things, how their beverage consumption habits compare with those of teens across the nation. Give out copies of the research report, or direct students to the Web site featuring the report.

After students have completed the reading, use the following questions and problems to be done either in class or as a homework assignment.

Follow Up

  1. If a teen drinks two 12-ounce cans of soda per day, how much sugar, according to the research report, will he or she consume in a week? Explain your findings.
  2. Create a line graph, either on the computer or by hand, that represents the change in beverage consumption habits among teens in the 1970s compared with those since the turn of the twenty-first century.
  3. Which micronutrients—vitamins and/or minerals—do teens miss out on when they choose soda over milk? Which of these micronutrients begins to disappear from the body during the adult years? What disease risks are increased by the lack of these nutrients?
  4. Look back at the facts you recorded about your own class's habits regarding the drinking of milk versus soda. How would you use these data to go about determining whether your class is typical of the national trend?
  5. Express in quarts the quantity of water that health experts advocate drinking each day. Based on this statistic, tell how many gallons of water you should drink in a year.

Integrating Math and Health

As a class, launch a campaign titled "The Numbers Don't Lie." The purpose of this campaign is to raise the consciousness of other teens in your school with respect to the importance of milk and water as a regular part of their eating plans. Use number facts from the article or from other print or Web resources. Your campaign may take the form of posters, charts, and/or an after-school rally. Ask participants to complete a brief questionnaire assessing the effectiveness of your efforts.

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