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Chocolate Day

Science Lesson
for Chocolate Day

The students will organize the steps of making cacao beans into chocolate.


  • A book or web site with information on how chocolate is made. The best links to use come from the Field Museum (A text which follows the steps of chocolate making) or Field Museum (Click on the words - "Begin the Chocolate Making Process", which requires Macromedia Flash Player 5.  This is an excellent interactive movie about chocolate making.)  Some other suggestions are Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh or HowStuffWorks.Com, or The Exploratorium.

  • Chart paper

  • How Chocolate is Made Worksheet



  1. Share the information from the web site or book.  Be sure to show pictures and explain words specific to chocolate making, such as fermenting and winnowing.

  2. As each step of the process is read, have the students work together as a class to compose a sentence which summarizes the step.  (Look at the How Chocolate is Made Worksheet and guide the students to use words similar to those on the worksheet.  Here are the sentences in the correct order for the worksheet -

    ____  The fruit from a cacao tree is picked.

    ____  The cacao seeds are taken out of the fruit.

    ____  The seeds are fermented (meaning they sit for a few days covered with banana leaves.)

    ____  The seeds are dried.

    ____  The seeds are roasted.

    ____  The seeds are cracked and sorted, which is called winnowing.

    ____  The bits of seeds are ground into a thick paste.

    ____  The paste is blended with other ingredients to make chocolate.)

  3. Pass out the How Chocolate is Made Worksheet.  Depending on the age of the students, have them complete the sheet for reinforcement either individually or as a whole class. They may look at the sentences on the chart paper for help.  

  4. As a variation, use the How Chocolate is Made Worksheet and cut the sentences into strips.  Divide the students into 8 groups.  Give each group one sentence to read.  Have the class work together to put the sentences in the correct order.  


Other Lesson Ideas

  1. As an alternative to the above lesson, after sharing the information on the chocolate making process, have the class work together to make their own sentences representing the steps in chocolate making.  Record the sentences on chart paper and display in the classroom as "How Chocolate is Made."

  2. Have a lesson on the rainforest, specifically the canopy and the understory.  Cacao trees grow in the understory.

  3. Melt chocolate in the classroom and using a candy thermometer, determine the melting point of chocolate.

  4. Bake a chocolate recipe.

  5. Have the students research different foods which come from the rainforest.



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