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.
- 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.
- 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.
Feel free to post any additional ideas in my comments.