Next Thursday 7 July is World Chocolate Day. If you ever needed an excuse to indulge in a little chocolate, this could be it. If you follow the link, you will find out some fun facts about the history of chocolate that begins more than 2 000 years ago.
If only we were allowed a little chocolate in the classroom, there are so many wonderful learning opportunities it could provide, for example:
Counting — how many chocolates all together?
Subtraction — how many left if I eat x?
Sharing (children can make equal shares, teachers can have the remainders 😉)
Multiplication — blocks of chocolate are great for arrays (columns and rows of)
Data — surveys who likes/does not like chocolate, what is the class’s favourite chocolate?
Measurement — how many chocolate bars tall are you? how many blocks balance one chocolate bar?
Chemical science — mixing, adding and removing heat, how chocolate is made, following recipes to make chocolate cake and chocolate crackles (just for starters).
Biological science — the cacao plant, where it grows, how it grows, and what it needs.
Of course, while all of these are possible, my suggestions are a bit tongue-in-cheek. However, we do have some absolutely acceptable ideas for incorporating chocolate into your program on World Chocolate Day.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Michael Rosen. Going on a Bear Hunt is probably one of his better known books, but he is a fabulous poet and storyteller, and his website is rich with material for teachers and children. If you’ve never checked it out, I suggest you do.
On of my favourite stories, that children really love too, is Chocolate Cake. I wrote about it in the post Storytelling with author Michael Rosen.
It’s really fun, so I’ll share it again here.
The suggestions I made for using the video as a basis for discussion, storytelling and writing are available to download in a free resource Storytelling with Michael Rosen’s Chocolate Cake.
We also have a maths game called Save a piece for Michael. The goal is to help Michael keep a piece of cake for his lunch by eating (taking) less than anyone else. The game involves a combination of luck and strategy based upon mathematical thinking. It involves counting, comparison (more or less), subitisation, addition, and subtraction. Round it out with a conversation about sharing at the beginning of the game if appropriate.
In addition to these, we also have a recipe for making a moon cake, which is also chocolate. Recipes are easy to justify as they involve children in using and developing literacy and maths skills and an understanding of science concepts. We’ve even got Moon cake science suggestions ready to help you out. The recipe is available in a variety of formats, including interactive for use online, or printable PDFs that can be downloaded.
I also want to let you know about the Sir Chocolate books by Robbie Cheadle.
Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet live in Chocolate Land where everything can be eaten. In each story, told in rhyme, Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet have a new adventure or problem to solve. Robbie also includes recipes from the story in each book.
I hope you find a way to enjoy a square or more of chocolate on World Chocolate Day.
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