Chocolate Education for One Hundred Third Graders at a time!
Posted by Jeff Stern on September 14, 2017
One of the main uses of cocoa pods is to educate. Most people have never seen a cocoa pod, let alone set food in a cacao producing country or cacao plantation. Holding a cocoa pod in your hand and seeing cocoa beanswill give you a much better understanding of just what chocolate is and where it comes from.
When we first started our business in Ecuador, we frequently had student groups as well as tourists visit our chocolate shop, and cocoa pods were always a main attraction. We gave presentations about the origins of chocolate to the British School Quito as well as other local schools.
A few weeks ago Ms. April Peralez, of Weslaco, TX purchased some of our pods and asked if I could provide a presentation via video to her class. I remarked that I didn't have any prepared videos on hand, but that I'd be glad to do a skype chat with her class and answer questions about chocolate.
She was totally excited about the idea and managed to include multiple third grade classes from the district. She was using this lesson on chocolate to enhance her curriculum and reading of the book The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Catling. One thing led to another, on my request she had the students prepare a list of questions, and we got to work setting up the skype conference.
Yesterday we had an amazing call with her well prepared group, several classes of third graders, over 100 in total! Some of the students questions included:
What is chocolate?
Where do chocolate trees grow?
Does cacao need a lot of rain to grow?
How is chocolate made?
And many other insightful questions. We had a great call and the class was enthusiastic, and certainly left with a much clearer idea about where chocolate comes from. I got this lovely note from the school afterwards:
I couldn't thank you enough for all the great facts you gave and your time and effort to help me get this going! This meant so much to us all here and you have become quite the celebrity throughout our district already!!! I can't wait to continue collaborating with you and please feel free to ask me anything you might need!
April also sent me this note from the district:
Mrs. April Peralez and Mrs. S. Gutierrez,
Thank you so much for inviting me to your extended reading lesson via Skype with Jeff Stern, a real life cocoa grower/exporter and chocolatier from Ecuador. All 3rd grade students were able to make connections betweenThe ChocolateTouch by Patrick S. Catling and the real world. It was evident that the selected students took their questioning skills to a deeper level. Furthermore,students were actively engaged with this meaningful lesson and enjoyed the interaction with Mr. Stern. Also, thank you for inviting KWES and Public Information to highlight the wonderful lessons taking place at Sam Houston Elementary. I know that many wonderful and exciting lessons are taking place on our campuses and I am looking forward to seeing them highlighted on KWES. Great job April!
Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education & Leadership
If you'd like to check out a recording of the event, just click here. If you'd like to work with us on a lesson or presentation in your classroom, please reach out via our contact form, which is available at both the top and bottom of our website.