Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor?

Karen Hamilton
Orange County Schools


The students predict, infer, investigate, compare, and evaluate five different brands of gum of the same flavor to discover how long it takes for the flavor to disappear. The chewing time for each brand of gum is timed and results are recorded in a journal. Final results are graphed and presented to the class. Students develop inquiry questions and make applications to real world situations.


The student makes predictions and inferences based on observations.


-Five different pieces of gum for each student (1 flavor for each of 5 days)
-Personal journals
-Copy of "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor?" activity sheet for each child for each of 5 days
-Chart paper, markers, colored pencils, pencils for each group


1. Have on hand five different flavors/brands of chewing gum so that all students have their own piece of each flavor/brand. Use one flavor for each day to maximize taste buds.
2. Chart paper, markers or colored pencils should be available for each group.
3. Students should have knowledge of preparing graphs for presentation.
4. Age appropriate children’s literature and web sites are available for student use.
5. Make copies of "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor?" for each child. (This is a simple three-column chart with space to record type of gum, time chewed, and personal observations regarding the gum's flavor).
6. Review or present the term "inference" so that students will be able to use their data to make inferences.
7. Suggested Journal Rubric for teachers:
4 Demonstrates understanding of the concepts taught; uses
details to support understanding.
3 Demonstrates understanding of the concepts taught; doesn't
include details to support understanding.
2 Partially demonstrates understanding of the concepts taught;
doesn't include details to support understanding.
1 Attempts to explain and answer each question, but gives
incorrect answers.
0 Does not complete assignment, or gives information that has
nothing to do with the concept.


Day 1
1. Students discuss their favorite flavor and/or brand of chewing gum, explaining why it's their favorite. They record information in journals. (Time: 1 hour)

2. Students predict and record in journals the estimated time for flavor loss.

3. Teacher explains to the class that over a five-day period, they are to test one flavor/brand each day and record in their journal the length of time needed for the flavor to disappear.

4. Working with shoulder partners and then groups of four, students secure four sticks of gum and a stop watch. They unwrap the gum, saving the wrapper for disposal, and then insert the gum in their mouths at the same time. One student monitors the timing on the stop watch. Time is inserted on student made chart in their personal journal.

5. Dispose of gum properly.

Days 2- 4

1. Repeat steps 2, 4 and 5 above. (Time: 20 minutes)

Day 5

1. Repeat steps 2, 4 and 5 above. (Time: 1 hour)

2. Analyze the recorded data and come to a general consensus regarding the average time for each flavor/brand of gum.

3. Graph results.

4. Record further investigative questions the group has regarding the investigations.

5. Develop a group presentation for the class using the data collected and formulate inferences based on group consenses.

6. Explain your group presentation to the class.

7. Teacher assesses journal entries, completed chart of predictions, actual times, and inferences based on collected data.


Students compare actual chewing times to predicted times. They reflect on their same flavor observations for each of the five different brands of chewing gum, in addition to checking off and recording chewing times for the brands of gum in their journals. Students work first with their shoulder partner and then in groups of four, sharing results and coming to a general consensus. Results are graphed and further investigative questions are recorded. A group presentation is developed and then explained to classmates. Suggestions for further investigations are also described. Students will be assessed on the following criteria: completed chart of predictions, actual times, and inferences on their data. Charts should be complete and inferences be reasonable.


1. Duplicate investigation using sugar-free gum or bubble gum.
2. Compare the mass of the gum before, during, and after chewing by using a triple-balance beam scale.
3. Research the history of chewing gum.

Attached Files

Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor?     File Extension: pdf

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