Sunday, October 28 is the National Chocolate Day, so why not join the celebration and at the same time make it a learning experience?
You will need to purchase the following types of chocolate for sampling: unsweetened, milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate
Break up into pieces each of the different types of chocolate and put them on individual plates. Have each person close their eyes and sample a piece of each type of chocolate. Have everyone rate them from 5 being their favorite to 1 being the least favorite. Reveal to your participants what each type of chocolates was and tally the points each received. You could create a bar graph for math with each of the chocolates.
How Chocolate is Made (Science)
Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao, which has been cultivated for at least three millennia, is grown in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. The earliest known documentation of use, of cacao seeds, is around 1100 BC. The cacao tree seeds have a very intense bitter taste that must be fermented to develop the flavor.
Once the seeds have been fermented, the beans are then dried, cleaned and roasted. After roasting, the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are then ground into a cocoa mass which is pure chocolate in rough form. The cocoa mass is usually liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The chocolate liquor may then be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
- Unsweetened baking chocolate – cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
- Sweet chocolate – cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat and sugar.
- Milk chocolate – sweet chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk.
- White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.
- Dark chocolate- cacao beans, sugar, emulsifying agent
Some good news about dark chocolate if eaten without any milk: it can lower your blood pressure; it has a large number of antioxidants. Now, that is good news!:)
Language Arts How about having your daughter or son create a story about chocolate or reading this book? (Click on the book to go to the link.)
Using the chart of the top ten producers of cacao, locate the countries on a map. Have your son/ daughter read the number aloud to reinforce place value. (math)
Culminating Activity- Make a chocolate dessert. This can be cookies, pie, ice cream, a malt… There are limitless possibilities, aren’t there?