Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Taste Test

Leslie Briggs
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students review writing compound sentences based on an experiment that allows them to create a -cola.-


The student produces final documents that have been edited for: correct spelling; correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and common use of semicolons; correct capitalization; correct sentence formation; correct instances of possessives, subject/verb agreement, instances of noun/pronoun agreement, and the intentional use of fragments for effect; and correct formatting that appeals to readers, including appropriate use of a variety of graphics, tables, charts, and illustrations in both standard and innovative forms.

The student uses an effective organizational pattern and substantial support to achieve a sense of completeness or wholeness (for example, considering audience, sequencing events, choosing effective words; using specific details to clarify meaning).

The student uses a variety of sentence structures including parallel structure, compound and complex sentences.


-Homemade Soda Handout (see attached file)
-Ingredients for Homemade Soda
-Drinking Cups
-Measuring Cups
-Store or National Brand of Soda


The teacher will do the following:
1. Print a copy of the “Homemade Soda” worksheet.
2. Gather all ingredients for homemade soda.
3. Gather all necessary supplies: cups, straws, etc.
4. Gather store/national brand cola.
5. Prepare copies of worksheet for students.


This activity is great for high school students who need remediation and practice in writing compound sentences.

1. Ask the question: What is your favorite drink beverage?
2. Have students share preferences.
3. Instruct students to respond in writing to the following journal topic: Coca-Cola is probably the most recognized name in soda. Explain why you think so. Secondly, if you were going to create your own cola, what would you include in your recipe?
4. Have students share Cola Journals.
5. Pass out the “Homemade Soda” handout (See file attachment.) and review creating compound sentences with the entire class. It is helpful to display sample sentences on the board. Hence, students will have a guide for completing this part of the activity.
6. Have students complete the sentence combining activity with a partner.
7. Have students arrange the sentence groups into the correct organizational order. Students mark the order with numbers.
8. Display the correct order and have students correct work.
9. Tell the students: “Now we are going to create our own soda.” Explain that the students will have to write about their cola creations, and then explain the assessment of the activity. Encourage students to take notes on the activity to use in the final writing activity.
10. Display the recipe on the board or overhead.
11. Have students mix sodas.
12. Have students taste the homemade concoction.
13. Ask the students to write down an answer to the following statement: This homemade cola tastes like ___________.
14. Have students explain their answers.
15. Provide a sample of a store or national brand of soda to each student.
16. Ask the students to sip both samples.
17. Have students answer the following question: Which tastes better and why?
18. Have students clean up and dispose of the liquids.
19. Assign the last written assignment. Students are to create a paragraph explaining what occurred in today’s lesson. The paragraph must contain simple and compound sentences (at least three). The items in the paragraph must be stated in chronological order.
20. Student submits work, and teacher assesses.


All written work from the students is assessed. I check the journal for completeness, and I look to see that each question (step 13 & 17) is copied and answered. Depending on your classes, you may want to stipulate exactly how long you want the responses to be (3 to 4 sentences, correct spelling, etc.). The last section, which is the student’s paragraph explaining what the lesson entailed, is assessed using the following checklist:

*All Sentences are Complete Sentences. Y or N
*All Sentences are Punctuated Correctly. Y or N
*There are at least 3 Compound Sentences. Y or N
*There are less than 4 Misspelled Words. Y or N
*All Sentences Relate to the Activity. Y or N
*The Paragraph is Sequenced Chronologically according to Class Procedures. Y or N


This lesson is a nice change for the students. It seems as though we don’t do “experiments” with our older students, so, for the most part, they really enjoy this activity. I have found that this activity goes smoothly if I assign one person to measure the ingredients for each row of students. This prevents having too many students up, and this also ensures that everyone gets the right amount of ingredients.

Web Links

Web supplement for Taste Test
Coca Cola

Web supplement for Taste Test
Encyclopedia Britannica

Attached Files

The file “Homemade Soda”.     File Extension: pdf

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