Mrs. Fincher's Second Grade Class
Landis Elementary School
Logansport, Indiana
Assorted Books

Our class really enjoyed participating in Chocolate Stories. Not only did we get to eat chocolate, we learned a lot about chocolate over a three week period. We did many different activities, read many different books, and used different technologies throughout the unit.

During the first week of our unit, we read From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate by Robin Nelson. We learned how a cocoa bean is turned into a bar of chocolate that we can buy and eat. We worked on steps in a process. We were able to put chocolate cards in order by working with our groups. We also then had to do it on our own and write a sentence about each step.

During the second and third week we did a lot more!

During week two, one group read Choco-Louie by Jeff Kindley. This story was about a little boy named Louie who loved to eat chocolate. His big brother, Ben, bets Louie that he would not last a week without chocolate. The students had fun reading about Louie and the temptations that he faces throughout the week in order to win the bet. The second group read The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene. This is a story about a boy, John, who loves to eat candy above anything else, especially chocolate. John learns that chocolate is not always the best thing to eat when he eats a piece of magically chocolate. The students in both groups worked on comprehension and vocabulary worksheets throughout the week. We also worked on the reading skill of comparing and contrasting by using Reese's Cups and Hershey Bars. It was a lot of fun! The students worked with their groups and a big version of a Venn Diagram. They used their taste, touch, and smell to help them compare and contrast the two different types of candy bars.

For writing, the students picked their favorite food that they could not live without. The students then developed a web to develop ideas to write about. They then took this web and started writing their story about their favorite foods. The students told why it was their favorite, what makes it their favorite, and why they could not live without this food. These stories are not quite finished at this time. We are going to the computer lab to type them. We are learning how to use Microsoft Word. The students also used Kid Pix Deluxe 3 to write two sentences about their favorite type of chocolate. They then illustrated their sentences. These turned out to be very adorable.

We also did a math activity during our Chocolate Stories. Each student was given a tally chart to take home. They had to ask four people what their favorite type of candy bar was. The tally chart listed five different types with a category of Other for those people whose favorite candy bar was not listed. The next day we went around the classroom and each student told the class who they asked and what the favorite candy bar was. We kept a running tally chart on our dry erase board. After we did this, the students were split into five groups. Each group then worked with me to develop either a bar graph or a pictograph using MaxCount. Since we had never used this program before it was a lot of fun. After the each group had met with me, they were given a copy of their graphs and they worked together to develop five questions about their graphs. These were then put together and put into a center. The students were able to work on them during free time when they were finished with their classroom work.

During the last week of our unit, one group read Curious George Goes to the Chocolate Factory by H.A. and Margaret Rey. The other group continued to read The Chocolate Touch. The students worked on comprehension skills during the week.

Throughout the unit, I was reading the students the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The students loved this book! They could not wait for me to start reading it each day to learn what was going to happen next. After we had finished reading the book, each student took a Reading Counts! quiz. The students did a wonderful job on the quiz. We also watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We discussed how the movie and book were the same and different. We are also looking forward to watching the new movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when it becomes available on DVD on November 8th.

For more information concerning our project, please visit our classroom website. I have posted students pictures, work, and the worksheets that we used throughout the unit.

  Susan Silverman and Marci McGowan 2005