Doug Mossengren
Educational Technology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
Biology, Health, Iowa K-12 E-Ciurriculum, Iowa K-12 E-Curriculum, Life Science, iowa-k-12-e-ciurriculum, iowa-k-12-e-curriculum
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

Education Standards (5)

Energy Drink - Circle of Viewpoints

Energy Drink - Circle of Viewpoints


This activity can be used as an extension for unit over macromolecules or an application of the metabolism unit. The purpose behind this activitity is to really look at the foods and drinks we used to obtain energy and see of they do what they claim to do. 

The circle of viewpoints activity is built around generating a list of ideas/perspectives about a given topic and then using that information for a prompt to dive deeper into the topic.  

This activity is built in in 3 parts 

  • Background reading and brainstorming
  • Questions and Reserch 
  • Socratic Circle

Background Information: Energy Drinks

    Background reading and brainstorming

    Background reading and brainstorming should take a day (45 min). Articles are short and then the discussion shouldn't take too long.

    Students will read the article and write down some questions and thoughts they have about the articles. 

    After the students are done reading the teachers will lead a class discussion (starting with a think pair share if students need time to generate some ideas). uring the following discussion the teacher will write down different view points, questions, opinions, and ideas on the board to create a master list. Once we have a couple of viewpoints and the teacher will ask “what questions do we need to have answered before we have our discussion”, “how do we know this or have evidence”, “why do you think that or what did you think that”, and "after this discussion what questions do you have or need to have answered." By the end of the class period the teacher will chunk/group the different view points together.  

    At the end of the activity the teacher will prompt the studnets to journal (online or in science notebooks)

    • I am thinking that energy drinks from the viewpoint of ..................are.......
    • I am thinking....................
    • A question I have from the this viewpoint is ..............................


    Collect student data on student participation on viewpoints. Record students that have a passion for a specific viewpoint/topic. 

    Task Number One

    Read through the following articles and generate a list of questions for further research while considering the following

    • Why are they called "energy drinks"? Where does the energy come from?
    • Should they be banned for kids (under 18)? Why? 
    • Are there any health benefits/risks to consuming "energy drinks"? 

    Science Daily Energy Drinks

    CDC Energy Drinks

    BBC "Teachers call for a ban of Energy Drinks in schools" 

    At the end of class what further questions do you need to have answers? 

    Task Number Two

    Questions and Research

    Questions and Research (Variable) doesn't have a specific amount of time required this can be something students work on in the background of additional learning or be give a day or two in class to complete. 

    Start of Day 2

    1. if the students did an online journal the teacher will generate a list of questions or viewpoints about energy drinks. The teacher will group students approprately around a specific viewpoint to do research in order to answer the questions and prepare for the debate/socaratic circle
    2. if the students wrote down their ideads the teacher will have time use large whiteboards or large poster paper to compile all of their thoughts and questions. Using that information the teacher will group the students around a specific viewpoint. 

    The teacher will have a collection of resources prepared for students showing different aspects of the debate on energy drinks. The students' task will be organize and collect information to prepare for the socratic cirlce or debate. If your students need more structure please provide them the Google Doc to for them to collect and organize the research.  GOOGLE LINK HERE


    If you have the students conduct their research in a Google Doc.  Use the following rubric check for completion and quality of research. Those that score highly in this section should be students used as the inner circle of the Socratic Circle. 

    Overview of the energy drinks(How it works or provides energy)Each answer is sort of answered. Very little supportive information.Each answer is answered and vaguely supported by information.Each answer is answered completely and supported by evidence
    Opinion & A-HaEach answer is sort of answered. Very little supportive information.Each answer is answered and vaguely supported by information.Each answer is answered completely and supported by evidence
    How I support itUse of one minor source for all of the informationUses multiple sources of informationUse of multiple credible sources
    Uses Command of conventions of standards English punctuation, spelling and capitalization4 or more errors in capitalizations, spielling and ounctuations2-3 errors in capatialization, punctuation and spelling0-1 errors in capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
    Uses Command of conventions of standards English sentence fluencyNot all of the sentences make sense and are a complete sentence.2-3 errors in sentence fluency. Each sentence us a complete sentence and has a subject and verb. Almost all of the sentences make sense.0-1 errors in sentence fluency. Each sentence us a complete sentence and has a subject and verb. Each sentences makes sense

    After the class discussion the teacher will provide you a topic for you to research. Using the link below and the resources provided research and support your viewpoint. You need to have a well thought out explanation/justification for your viewpoint on energy drinks and whether or not they do what they claim to do. 


    Socratic Cirlce/Debate will take place on <<DATE>>

    Task Number Three

    Socratic Circle or Debate

    Link to Description of Socratic Circle and Reflections

    They way that Socratic Circle works is that you create two cirlces in the classroom. The first circle (four to five students) only needs their research document while the outer cirlce (rest of the class) has their computers. The outer circle will be using apps like Today's Meet or Back The inner cirlce will start and carry the converstation/discussion while the outer cirlce will respond and ask questions in the back channel. As the instructor it is your job to keep the back channel moving and monitor the conversation so it stays on topic. Set an amount of time like ten to fifteen minutes. I would suggest practicing this for five minutes first so students get the hang of the activity. 

    • Quick tip is to have a video of the inner group conversation and then post the back channel discussion in a forum or somewhere students can go back and refer to.


    After the fifiteen minutes have a quick good bad discussion about the activity and then assign students this quick reflection. REFLECTION LINK.  Use the following rubric to assess their reflection

    How I writeAnswers the questions not in sentences but in fragments and or LOTS of major grammatical errorsWritten as complete sentences/thoughts and several minor grammatical errors (punctuation, spelling,etc)Written as complete sentences/thoughts and has only few (2 or less) minor grammatical errors
    What I writeSome of the questions are barely answered. No JustificationAll questions answered and some questions have generic of vague answers.All questions clearly answered and supported by evidence
    How I reflectLacks any real analysis or understanding of student's participation and learning during the activityShows some analysis and understanding of the student's participation and learning during the activityStudent goes into specific detail the quality and quantity of their participation and learning during the activity

    Socratic Cirlce 

    Today in class we will be have our discussion about energy drinks. Everyone in the class will need their research and computer. For this activitiy we will split into two groups, one inner group (4-5 students) that will lead the discussion face to face while the rest of the us will discuss and respond to the inner group online in a back channel app. Today we will be using Today’s Meet

    Those of you in the inner cirlce will need to talk for ten minutes about energy drinks, the good/bad, and whether or not they should be banned for teenagers. The outer cirlce will need to listen and respond to the inner cirlce in the backchannel. The outer circle will need to ask questions, support/discuss what was said in the inner cirlce and respond with your own research. 

    When we are done we will have a short discussion and written reflection.