Saturday, February 7, 2009


For some reason, this time of year, I just get a craving to teach about chocolate. It's a very interesting topic and there are many resources availble out there. Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to do activities and lessons based on this irresistable treat.

Pennsylvania home school law requires us to cover certain subject areas. I think they can all be covered under our chocolate topic.

English to include spelling, reading and writing

  • I feel that spelling and writing can be covered with copywork. Have the child copy an excerpt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
  • Your child could also write poetry about chocolate. I've had my kids write a poem. When they had it perfect, they copied it on a Hershey Kiss cut out.
  • This topic is rich with vocabulary.
  • Your local library probably has both fiction and nonfiction books on chocolate.


  • Use a Hershey Bar to work on fractions.
  • Find out the price of a Hershey bar at the local grocery store and have the child figure out how much 3 candy bars would cost. If they paid with a $10.00 how much change should they get back? Did you figure sales tax?
  • Make a recipe using chocolate.
  • Buy a small bag of M & M's and make a bar graph showing how many of each color are in the bag.
  • Think of 3 (or possibly more) chocolate bars and ask everyone you know, which is his or her favorite. Use tally marks to keep track and make a bar graph to organize the results.

  • Lay out the process of taking a cacao bean and making it into sweet chocolate.
  • Find out what kind of environment a cacao tree needs to grow.

  • On a map of Pennsylvania, locate Hershey, Pa.
  • On a world map, mark where cocoa beans are grown.
  • On a world map (or on a map of Central America), color the areas where the first tribes lived who discovered the cacao bean.

    History of the US and Pennsylvania
  • When did chocolate first come to the United States?
  • Where did Milton Hershey make his chocolate? Why did he choose that area? What else did Milton Hersehy do?

  • Milton Hershey was a philanthropist. Research the school he built and other ways he was a good citizen.

    Safety Ed
  • Discuss what to do when you get a bag of candy wrapper is off of a piece.
  • Discuss why pets should not have chocolate.

    Health and Physiology
  • Compare and contrast the nutritional values of different types of chocolate (eg hot chocolate, candy bars, raw cacao beans, etc.)

    This one has me stumped, too.

  • Write a song about your favorite form of chocolate.
  • Listen to music from the Mayan and Aztec people.
  • Listen to jingles from advertisements for chocolate.

  • Create your own chocolate bar. Design a wrapper for the bar.

Field trip

  • Hershey's Chocolate World - this trip is free and you get to take a ride through the chocolate making process. Hershey now has a new museum with classes for school students. The Chocolate World tour is free, but the classes at the museum come with a fee.

The following resources contain many more ideas.
Homeschool Share Free Unit on Chocolate
Currclick resources
Chocolate Theme Page
Exploratorium Magazine: Chocolate

Information on the Hershey Company

Feel free to post any additional ideas in my comments.


Veronica Boulden said...

For PE (and Math and Science), maybe you could eat a certain amount of chocolate, calculate the calories, then jump rope or do jumping jacks till you burn it all off. I bet you could find out online how long you'd have to walk, run in place, etc. to burn that same amount of calories... Just kidding, really. ;) But, it may work.
I love these ideas. I think I am going to copy and paste them and save them. We can't do all of them yet, but this sounds like so much fun for when Norah is older. Thanks so much for sharing.

Marbel said...

I love it. As a fellow Pennsylvanian (is there a shorter term for that?) I love finding ways to fit the requirements to the things we want to learn (and the ways we want to learn them)!