Sometimes a lesson plan is not to be tampered with.

It was the end of Summer EXCEL at Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis. I was an intern, teaching future third graders lessons from the Bible. I cannot tell what the lesson was about or even the scripture that went with it, but I do know that the lesson involved an off brand of Coke, and a package of Mentos.

The lesson called for two bottles of Coke one to explode with Mentos, and one for the kids to drink at a later time. Because of the “experiment” I attempted to have the lesson outside, to reduce the amount clean up. I had the kids sit along the side of the playground border. They were so spread out I decided to explode both bottles so everyone could get a good look.

Many of the kids lived within the line of poverty and to them pop was not something they got very often. (As if they were not already hyper enough) When I brought the Coke out a bunch of little eyes got hopeful. I made my way through the lesson and got to the part of the Mentos. After it was all said and done, I am pretty sure that the shared thought among the students was voiced by just one.

‘You just ruined an entire bottle of Pop!”

I have never forgotten that moment. It didn’t matter what I had taught that day, the take away from that lesson was that Mr. Alan ruined two bottles of pop for no good reason. They all walked away from the lesson to go inside and move on to the next thing of the day.

Honestly. I had never thought of it that way. A simple bottle of pop as something to treasure, to actually appreciate and not just drink it for the caffeine and sugar to stay awake on a late night.

When was the last time you sat down and really appreciated the little things that God gives you everyday?

How often do we see an opportunity that we think is from God only to see it “ruined” by our standards?

Out of all the illustrations that we will ever use to teach, we always remember the ones that we think are duds. I doubt any of those kids will ever remember my name, but they will remember the day that that strange teacher sitting on a picnic table making geysers out of pop bottles.


Note #1 This was written as part of The Daily Post’s Weekly Challenge. This week the focus is on teachers and students. For more information go here.

Note #2 Shepherd Community Center serves the Near East side of Indianapolis and is helping to end poverty in the second generation. If you want to get involved or want more information, check out their facebook page or their website



3 thoughts on “on Coke and Mentos

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