We only made it to week 2 by this week because I attended the #NAEYC conference in Atlanta. When I got back I was very excited to see that we would be learning about Chocolate, but after going over the lesson I realized that it would be a little dry for them and they may not fully connect to the theme without some extra things thrown into the mix. I decided that seeing a video of the cocoa trees and how they are harvested would be an awesome idea to bring the subject to life. Unfortunately Amazon Prime did not have a ton of films that were child friendly abut chocolate. Then I came upon a video about the Hersey Chocolate Factory . This video is actually fairly short and from the 70's but it gave so much information about how chocolate is made and how the beans are processed. There was some disbelief over finding out that the beans are considered a fruit. I had to play that part over again because Ms. Tessie couldn't possibly be telling the truth.
The activities for Mother Goose Time the day were to make a Bean to Bar book. I made this a large group activity. I had the children cut out the pages and then together we put the pages into order and went over the order of making a bean into a chocolate bar.
The next activity was math, where we rolled the dice and looked under the table for the matching beans with the number to harvest. This was also a large group activity.
I decided not to do the last activity because the children did not seem to be engaged anymore in the activities. So I moved on to snack time and made the lesson come alive for the children by having a cocoa party! They liked the sugar cookies and the chocolate straws. Then only two children drank all of their cocoa. I am unsure of what happened. But they sniffed the cocoa took a sip and then ate the chocolate straw.
After they were done with their snack and telling me that it smelled very good but was too hot for them to drink. (I put milk inside the cocoa to cool it down so it wasn't hot), we sat down and did a taste test of raw cocoa so that they could taste what it tastes like and see how sugar can change the taste of something that may taste gross at first. We used our 5 senses to explore the cocoa.
In the end it was a fabulous day and they connected the theme to real life. We watched Light Talks from the Smithsonian Earth on Amazon Prime. These are at the most 6 min long videos about different types of animals and we viewed some of the videos that had to do with animals who live in the rain forest. They were so interested that they ended up pretending to be spiders and frogs for the rest of the day.
I hope you enjoyed our day as much as we did!