The Magic School Bus: In the Rain Forest {Chocolate Production}

south-america

This whole lesson was focused on all things chocolate.  I knew this would appeal hugely to the masses so I bribed encouraged them to work hard with the promise of fun times to come.  And they did.  Work hard, that is, although it was not without the presence of much checking when the promised treat time would actually be arriving.

But good things come to those who wait and boy were they excited when they saw what I had planned!

Read Aloud

I read the following three books (one fiction and two non fiction) out loud to them:

Ribbet collagemagic schoolbus

I also though reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory might be perfect for this weeks study:

chocolate-1

Geography

Cocoa is grown in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as well as (to a lesser extent) Bolivia and Paraguay:

cocoa producers

This week we will focus our geographical studies on Bolivia and Paraguay.

rainforest

We looked up both countries in our atlases and I read out what each one said about these countries:

Ribbet collagewhere1

Science

We read the following book together:

chocolate

Chocolate Making Stages:

I tried to get hold of something to represent each stage (cocoa beans, roasted cocoa beans, home ground beans, cocoa powder from shop, high cocoa solid chocolate):

chocolate-4

We roasted the beans gently in the oven:

chocolate-5

And ground them up using my coffee grinder:

chocolate-6

We tasted each stage to see how the process improved the taste.  Honestly, until we tasted the chocolate nothing improved at all!  It was all revolting 🙂

Craft, Design and Technology

I admit I cheated here.  I saw this kit on Amazon and I put it in my basket and then removed it, only to change my mind and put it back in again.  I was certain I could make my own at a much lesser cost.  In the end I felt that time was even shorter than money this summer and so I bought it:

chocolate making kit

It is a ‘Design a Chocolate Bar’ kit and contains wrappers, recipe ideas, chocolate bar molds with a special way to mark the resulting bars with patterns.  I bought it for just over £10 including postage.  For me it was money well spent because this is a kit which can be used by at least four of my children completely independently.

The girls melted the chocolate, prepared the molds and filled up the melted chocolate container:

chocolate-7

Having squirted in some chocolate, they went ahead decorating the chocolate with all sorts of colourful bits and pieces:

chocolate-8

The decorated chocolates were turned out of their molds.  The girls decorated a doily and a wrapper and packaged up their chocolates and gifted them to Granny 🙂

chocolate-9

Field Trip

We went to Kidzania and the girls had enormous fun at the Cadbury’s factory learning how chocolate was made, making some of their own and receiving a voucher for some of their chocolate to collect on the way out:

kidzania

cadbury-voucher

So much fun 🙂

More Inspiration

 

8 comments

  1. So fun! We did a chocolate making unit when we read The Candymakers but I could not find a place around here where we could see actual chocolates being made. We settled for making own our chocolates using molds and making some chocolate covered pretzels.

  2. I used to live near the Bournville Cadbury factory (in fact, so close I could smell the chocolate when I left the house most days) and visited Cadbury World. It was so fascinating, I could have spent all day there and still not seen and read everything. We stood for ages watching the machines wrapping boxes of chocolate bars. I don’t think it was intended to be an exhibit you waited at, it was just a window in the corridor and loads of people just walked straight past us with a weird expression, but it was mesmerisingly clever. I bet all your children would find something directly relevant to them if you were ever able to make a trip! We used Tesco vouchers to reduce the cost of admission, made it just expensive rather than eye-wateringly extortionate.

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