Begin by brainstorming the meaning of nutrients. Nutrients are substances that help nourish the body. Inform students that nutrients are responsible for helping hair, nails, teeth, and gums stronger and making skin clear and healthy. Nutrients give energy, help to speed up the healing process from illnesses and can help improve eyesight. Nutrients also aid in concentration and clarity in thinking.
Invite students to brainstorm ideas about the composition of the earth and the human body. After students have discussed the different components of the earth and the human body, explain to the students that the body and the earth are mostly made of water.
Human Body: More than half of the human body consists of water.
Earth: 70% of the earth is made of water.
Note to Teacher: Students may find it difficult to understand that the human body is made mostly of water when humans have an epithelial (skin) outer covering. In order to illustrate this point you may choose to do the Fruit Demonstration Activity.
Dehydration occurs when you lose too much water from your body before you are able to replace water by drinking the recommended amount of water. The recommended amount of water to drink for children includes 3-5 glasses of water per day. Inform students that symptoms of dehydration include headaches, feeling hungry, irritability, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea.
Create a list of beverages by identifying the students’ favorite drinks or the beverages that students prefer to drink. Write the results on the chalkboard or on a transparency so that the children can see the different types of beverages. Did the students mention water, milk and 100% fruit juice in their responses? Ask the students if there is a difference between different types of fruit juices. Explain to students that although there are a variety of different beverages available to drink, water, 100% fruit juices and milk are the best beverages to drink because they provide nutrients and prevent dehydration.
- Water replenishes the body and prevents dehydration.
- 100% Fruit Juice has important nutrients including Vitamin C.
- Milk is an important source of calcium and can include Vitamin D that helps keep bones healthy and strong.
In contrast, pop and artificial fruit juices are not beneficial to drink.
- Pop aids in dehydration and bone calcium depletion.
- Artificial fruit juices do not have the essential vitamins and nutrients that are useful for helping the body stay healthy.
Explain to students that drinking water, 100% fruit juices, and milk will help in preventing dehydration and aid in acquiring nutrients that help keep your body healthy.
To reinforce these concepts students will participate in two scientific experiments that will explore the concept of dehydration, and examine the nutrient concentration of beverages. Each experiment teaches the students how to use the scientific process to produce an evidence-based conclusion. Each experiment builds on the previous to improve scientific experimental skills.