Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 29 - Coca-Cola

The very first batch of Coca-Cola was brewed on this day in 1886 - so, Happy Birthday to my constant companion!



We just got in all the books in this series, and they are already circulating. Bright colorful pictures, fun infographics, extensive glossary for the reading level (about 3rd grade). It goes through the history of Coca-Cola, from it's inception as a cough syrup to World War II when soldiers went through 5 billion bottles, to the multi-national company it is today.

Social Studies

Did you know that Coca-Cola has different brands in other countries, to correspond with local tastes? In Guatemala, you can buy Tiky, which has a pineapple flavor. South Africa has an energy drink called Powerplay. Research the different brands here and see if you can find any at local ethnic food stores. Have a taste test and see what you think!

Where are each of those drinks sold? Mark them on a map of the world and see if you can find any similarities in flavors preferred in one area over the other.

Language Arts

"Environmental Print" is the term coined to include everything from stop signs to that big yellow "M" recognized by every American child. Even before learning to put letters into words, kids can recognize certain words by their font or format, or by their location. Do a Google image search for "environmental print", and see how many words your child can 'read'. Then keep an eye out as you go around town - you'll be amazed at how much environmental print you recognize once you start actively looking for it!


Did you know soft drinks can be used as a cleaning agent? Have you ever seen a grown-up pour a can of soda over their car battery? Why would they do that??? Here's a simple experiment that can show you why:

Dig through the change jar for some dingy pennies, the darker the better. Place a few in a glass half filled with Coke, and a few in a glass half-filled with water. Make sure they are spread out, not on top of each other. Set them aside overnight.

In the morning, take them out and give them a quick rinse in warm water. How do the pennies from the Coke glass look in comparison with the pennies from the water glass?

Coke (and other similar sodas) contain phosphoric and citric acid, which are what cleans the pennies off. While we like our pennies bright and shiny, do we really want that happening in our stomach? Will drinking too many sodas eat a hole right through us??

Yes and no. Sodas do contain small amounts of those acids, but they are not concentrated - in other words, they are mixed in with other fluids. In fact, orange juice has more citric acid than Coca-Cola does! Try this experiment with other drinks, and see if you get the same results. Should we just drink water? Well, that would certainly be a healthy choice, but don't let all the talk of acids scare you away from any flavored drink - your stomach is full of gastric acid, which is stronger than anything in a soda! 

As people in the US started becoming more health conscious, Coca-Cola started branching out to other drinks that are a bit healthier. Who owns the orange juice you drink? The bottled water? You might be surprised! Here are some of the other brands Coca-Cola owns in the US.


There are many other reasons sodas are not a good everyday drink, and high up there is the sugar content. Take a look at this visual display of the amount of sugar in your favorite drinks - and grab a tall glass of water! Create a bar graph with the liquids your family most commonly drinks at the bottom, and the Tablespoons of sugar at the left.


debate topics:
Which is best, Coke or Pepsi?
Should sodas be available in schools?
Should sugary soft drinks be taxed more?
Is soda okay once in a while or not at all?


Coca-Cola's logo is a slightly stylized version of the handwriting of one of its founders. Pretend the company wanted a whole new look, and they asked you to design a new logo. What do you think it should look like? Remember the idea of environmental print - it should be something striking to catch people's eyes, but simple enough that they will remember it!


Coca-Cola is a business that makes a lot of money, but it also has a philanthropical side. Take a look at:

- The Coca-Cola Foundation (grants for environmental, education, and health projects)
- Partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to protect polar bears, a popular Coca-Cola icon
- 5by20, a program helping businesswomen around the world


One of the most recognizable commercial jingles of all time:

What other songs from commercials have become stuck in your head over the years? For older kids, what devices do advertisers use to make you remember those songs?

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