Imara Abdullah - Douglas Community Academy

Calorie Connection

Imara Abdullah                 Douglas Community Academy
                               3200 So. Calumet
                               CHICAGO IL 60616
                               (773) 534-9263


Measurements require using standardized units. After studying measurements in
customary and metric units the students will be exposed to using heat as a
measurement unit in determining the calories of a brazil nut. Next the burning
of sugar occurs so fast it can be compared to the quick energy rush that
occurs when sugar is burned in body. Finally, the charts with caloric measure
of different food will show the work scientist have done in computing
calories. The computation of the number of calories needed while at rest and
with daily activity level will connect the caloric measure to the body

Middle grade students will understand the term calorie.
Middle grade students will understand that sugar burns quickly in the body.
Middle grade students will compute the calories needed for his or her
body according to their usual activities.

Materials Needed:

Ring stand, foil pie pan, thermometer, long matches, paper clips, shelled Brazil
nut and clay.

Ring stand, foil pie pan, matches, calorie charts with a variety of foods on it.

Formula for computing basal metabolic rate
Formula for computing calories for body weight and activity level
Chart of average body weights and average caloric intake needed for boys and
Scale to weight students


The strategy is phenomenological, using strategies in which students can
observe, interact, collect data, and discuss concepts through answering
questions from observed activities.
Brainstorming is used and students are asked to draw conclusions about
observations. Students are encouraged to form an hypothesis and follow the
scientific method in testing and re-testing their hypothesis.


Calorie Experiment:
Set up ring stand and foil pie pan with 100 milliliters of water in the pie
pan. Record the water temperature. Put a Brazil nut on an opened paper clip
Place the bottom of the paper clip in the clay. Place the Brazil nut and the
paper clip directly under the pie pan. Stabilize the position of the nut on
the paper clip by putting the end of the paper clip in clay and pressing the
clay down. Light the Brazil nut with the matches. Let the nut completely
burn up under the foil pie pan. Now measure the water temperature in the pie
pan with the thermometer. Note the differences in the water temperature.
Each degree of rise in temperature was caused by the release of one tenth
kilocalorie from the nut. Multiply difference by 1/10th because 100
milliliters was used (1/10th of a liter). Take beginning temperature of
water subtract that temperature from the ending temperature of water.
Multiply difference by 1/10th for calories of a Brazil nut.

Sugar Experiment:
Set up ring stand and foil pie pan. Place small amount of white sugar in pie
pan. Light matches and place under pie pan. Heat pie pan until sugar melts.

Caloric Intake activity:
Use scale to weight students. Use calorie charts of average caloric intake for
boys and girls and charts of calories needed for average activities. Examine
charts with students. Calculate calories needed for daily intake. The basal
metabolic rate, for women, is determined by taking your weight and multiplying
it by 10. Then divide that number by the number of minutes in day. For men the
basal metabolic rate is determined by taking your weight and multiplying it by
11. Next divide the number by the number of minutes in a day. Note the average
person burns approximately one calorie per minute. Next use charts to compute
number of calories needed per day for specific ages and activity levels.

Performance Assessment:

Create rubric of performance task and participation requirements.


A calorie is the unit standardized to measure food energy. A kilocalorie is
the amount of heat energy that is needed to raise the temperature of one liter
of water by one degree celsius. Sugar is used as quick energy by the body. But
the body needs energy to perform task and food to provide balanced nutrition.
Scientist have computed the caloric value of many foods. Charts are available of
calorie amounts.


Heath Science, D.E. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts
Copyright 1984, Book 5

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