Chocolate Day

Social Studies Lesson
for Chocolate Day

The students will identify the equator and areas on a map where cacao trees are grown.




  1. Share the map or the globe and identify the equator.  Point to the equator and explain that it is an imaginary line which divides the earth into two hemispheres, northern and southern.

  2. Share information from the aforementioned web site which states that cacao trees only grow within close proximity to the equator. Discuss weather conditions near the equator and how they are prime for growing chocolate.  Where is the students' home town in relationship to the equator?  Do they live in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere?

  3. Pass out the clay.  Have the students form a ball with the clay.  Discuss that this ball will represent the earth. 

  4. Have the students "draw" a line around the middle of their ball using a pencil tip or toothpick.  This line will represent the equator.  Discuss which part of the ball represents the northern hemisphere and which represents the southern hemisphere.

  5. Pass out the Where is Chocolate Grown Worksheet and have the students complete the sheet individually, or as a whole class.


Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Have a lesson on the history of chocolate, using the Field Museum web site for information.

  2. Cacao beans were used as a form of money in the Aztec Empire.  Set up a system for the Chocolate Day in which students are given a certain number of beans (substitute any kind of bean to represent a cacao bean.)  The students will then need to use their beans to purchase goods and services.  For example, a piece of paper may cost 2 beans, while the privilege of going to recess may cost 5.

  3. Read Cocoa Ice by Diana Appelbaum.  Have a lesson on trading and how it affected what people ate.  The cocoa ice trade between Maine and Santo Domingo made it possible for children to eat cocoa ice.  Before the trading, people in Maine did not have cocoa beans and people in Santo Domingo did not have ice.



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