Lesson Plan Title : Candy Lights

Age Range:

Grade 9 through Grade 12 (High School)

Overview and Purpose:

This is a quick and easy experiment that can be used to introduce a unit on chemical bonds or light. Students will be fascinated with the reaction that happens when they chew wintergreen Lifesavers in the dark.


The student will be able to observe the light that is produced when he is chewing hard candies in the dark.


Wintergreen Lifesavers

Sugar cubes

Other hard candies

Hand-held mirrors

Boxes with black out material

Science journals


Give each student one wintergreen Lifesaver, one sugar cube, and one additional candy. Divide the students into groups and give each group a box. Ask them to take turns looking in the mirror in the blackened box while chewing the candies one at a time. Have them note their observations in their journals.

After everyone has completed their observations, come together and discuss the experiment. Explain that what they saw is called triboluminescence, which occurs when certain materials are ripped apart or crushed.


Students can continue their experiment at home using different types of foods to see which ones create light. This is a fun, quick lesson that students will remember and enjoy.