Do you want to keep students excited about learning? Try using the theme of chocolate. Students will love reading books about chocolate. Playing games with a chocolate theme is fun. Eating chocolate is also a must. Check out the newly updated “Chocolate in the Classroom” section of the Book Units Teacher website for ideas. Here’s what you will find.
In the “History of Chocolate” you will find a timeline. A group of my students created this timeline as part of a project a number of years ago. Unfortunately, it is six pages long. YIKES! Students would be bored out of their minds trying to read through the timeline. Because of this, I created a scavenger hunt to make finding details fun. Students skim through the facts to find specific dates or information from these web pages. They add the information to the printable creating their own mini-timelines. Download the free printable here to get started. Students can use the timeline to write a paragraph similar to this one.
Chocolate was invented by the Ancient Mayans over a millennium ago. Explorers like Christopher Columbus and Cortéz carried the cacao bean to Western Europe in the 1500s. After this, people in Europe began drinking chocolate. It wasn’t until 1674 that the first solid chocolate was sold. A whole century would pass before the first chocolate company opened in the United States. By the 1800s, chocolate began to look like the creations of today with the invention of milk chocolate, heart-shaped boxes for Valentine’s Day, and candy bars. During the 1900s, many of today’s favorite candy bars were invented.
Just for Fun
In the “Games and Activities” section, students can play Concentration or Hangman with candy bars photos and words. I recommend increasing the size of your monitor screen for easier viewing. A Hershey Kisses online cloze reading activity creates fun results. Students type descriptive words and phrases in the blanks. They then click a button to see their completed stories. Print these for a fun classroom display. Another link takes students to an article with interesting facts. Students can figure out which chocolate candy bars are the most popular by sales. They can even learn how many licks it takes to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop.
Chocolate in the Classroom Teacher Resources
Two sections of the website provide teaching ideas. The “Classroom Recipes and Activities” section contains simple recipes. Learn how to create chocolate treats in the classroom.
This free printable is provided for teachers. Students compare two types of chocolate. I love using the Hershey Miniatures. Students eat chocolate while completing the chart. I encourage students to use descriptive phrases. Vivid imagery such as rich creamy texture, mildly sweet, silky smoothness, or crackly crunch works best. Students turn the completed charts into comparison paragraphs.
The final section “Chocolate Themed Books” provides book unit samples and teaching ideas. Look for your favorite chocolate-themed books. You’ll find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Chocolate Touch, and Chocolate Fever.
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