Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chewing Gum Facts and Extension Activities

Chewing Gum Facts!

Need an activity for a Friday or a substitute? Have small groups read over some of the facts about chewing gum.  Have small groups make 5-7 True or False questions to exchange with another group to answer. Regroup and discuss and then have students do one of the extension activities.

What is 7,400 ft. long? (That’s about 1 1/2 miles) The answer, the longest gum wrapper chain ever made. It took Cathy Ushler of Redmond, Washington from 1969-1992 to make!

Do you like chewing gum?  You’re not alone. About 100,000 tons of gum are chewed every year!

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, in 1994, Susan Montgomery blew the largest bubble on record. It was 23 inches in diameter. 

Did you know that chewing gum on an airplane will keep your ears from popping? Gum chewing  makes your salivary glands produce 250% more saliva than normally, so you swallow more. That helps to balance pressure in your head.

The USA has the most gum chewers. 

Some studies suggest that chewing gum helps improve memory.

If you chewed a wad of gum for one hour, you would  burn 11 calories.

Americans chew enough gum in one year that if ONE stick of gum was made, it would be 3.5 million miles long or the distance from the Earth to the Moon and back seven times. Another way to see the amount of gum chewed in the USA is a stick of gum that could circle the Earth at the equator 150 times!

Purchasing chewing gum in the country of Singapore is illegal, except for medical purposes.

More gum is chewed by those ages 12-24 than any other age group.

Frank Henry Fleer invented the first bubble gum in 1906. He called it Blibber-Bubber.  It was very sticky and Walter Diemer, developed Double Bubble, twenty-two years later and is created with inventing the first “real” bubble gum.

John Curtis, made the first commercial chewing gum. The year was 1848. State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum was the name for his gum.It had a very strong taste of spruce and wasn’t very popular.

Spearmint, peppermint and cinnamon are the most popular flavors of chewing gum today.

The first bubble gum was pink as that was the only food coloring available when Walter Diemer was working in the lab. Pink is still the most popular coloring for bubble gum.

Prehistoric people chewed on lumps of black tar. Examples of “gum”(with teeth marks) have been found in bog areas in Germany, Sweden and Finland.

The ancient Greeks chewed mastiche, a resin from the mastic tree, the Mayas used a natural gum from the sapodilla tree,Native Americans munched on a resin cut from the black spruce tree and early colonists chewed on a combination of tree sap and beeswax.

The oldest “gum” is about 5,000 to 6000 years old.

Extension Activities:
Do you think kids should be allowed to chew gum in school? Why, why not?

Illustrate one of the facts about chewing gum. Write your fact on your drawing.

Pretend you are a wad of bubble gum. What flavor are you? Tell about a day in your life on the pavement, underneath a desk or waiting in a wrapper to be popped into someone’s mouth.

Some people swallow their gum. How do you get rid of gum after it no longer is of use?

Have you ever made a chewing gum chain? Here are directions.

Illustration is from:

Some sources for Teachers:

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