топик Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is made from a gum base. In the past, the gum base was usually the sap or resin from trees. Today, the base consists of manmade polymers. A polymer is formed when many units of a simple chemical are repeated and then joined together using heat, pressure, or some kind of catalyst. To make the gum sweet and chewy, natural or artificial sugars, vegetable oil, and flavorings are added.

The warmth of a person’s mouth makes the hard piece of gum soft and chewy. The base of bubble gum is more elastic than regular gum and that is why people can blow large bubbles with it. Chewing gum has been around for thousands of years. Stone Age people chewed birch bark tar, which forms when the bark is heated. Scientists have found prehistoric samples of this tar with human teeth marks in them. Because most of these marks are small, they think that the tar was chewed mainly by children and teenagers.

They may have chewed it to relieve a sore throat, to make their mouth feel fresher, or simply because it tasted good. The ancient Maya Indians of Mexico chewed chicle, which is the sap of the sapodilla tree. Natural chicle was the basis of Chiclets gum, which was invented by American Henry Fleer in 1906. Fleer added a sugar coating to the chicle to make it taste better. The history of chewing gum in North America began with the Native people, who chewed the sap of spruce trees.

Settlers learned the habit from them. From about 1850 to 1930, several American inventors worked to improve the quality and flavor of gum. In 1871, Thomas Adams invented a machine that would make gum, and in 1888, in New York City, gum was sold for the first time in a vending machine. Today, people all over the world chew gum.


Pre-Reading Warm Up Questions

  1. Do you like to chew gum? If so, what is your favorite kind of gum?
  2. Do you ever chew bubble gum? Can you blow bubbles with bubble gum?
  3. What do you think chewing gum is made from?
  4. When do you think people first started chewing gum?
  5. When do you think gum was first sold in vending machines?
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