activities to raise awareness of
different bars of chocolate (at least one fairtrade bar)
Start with a riddle. Explain to the children that you have a secret object. You will give them clues about its identity and they have to guess what it is. Some suggestions for clues:
• My main ingredient is grown in hot countries like Ghana
• I can be made into a drink as well as something to eat
• I am brown and rectangular in shape
• I am easy to break into chunks and delicious to eat
• You can find me in cakes, biscuits, Easter eggs and advent calendars
• I am, of course, chocolate!
Find out what children know about chocolate and how it is made.
• What is the essential ingredient in chocolate? Cocoa, which comes from the seeds of the cacao tree. These seeds are usually called beans and they grow in pods on the tree. Once they have been picked they are left to dry in the sun.
• Where do cacao trees grow? They need a humid climate with regular rainfall and good soil. Countries like Ghana, Mali and Ivory Coast in Africa grow cocoa. It’s also grown in Indonesia in Asia, and Brazil in South America. Use a map or globe to show children where these countries are. In particular show them where Mali and Ivory Coast are, as these countries are mentioned in the story.
• What else is added to make chocolate? Depending on the type of chocolate—sugar, milk or milk powder and vanilla.
Discuss with the children:
• What is good about chocolate? It’s delicious to eat; it’s nice to have as a treat; it contains calcium, iron and antioxidants, all of which are good for you.
• What is not so good about chocolate? It’s not healthy to eat too much but it’s OK as part of a balanced diet; some people with allergies can’t eat chocolate.
Explain that another not-so-good thing about chocolate is that sometimes the people who have helped to grow the cocoa beans are not treated very well. If you have a Fairtrade bar of chocolate, show them the Fairtrade sign and explain that this means that the people who grew the cocoa have been paid fairly and treated well.
But some people working in the cocoa industry aren’t so lucky.
Tell the story of Chaga
Blindfold chocolate challenge - can the children identify different types of chocolate when blindfold?