Ideas that Spark a Lesson

Who doesn’t love chocolate? A friend shared with me a website where you can customize your own chocolate candy bars called Chocomize.  When I saw the website I thought how awesome and can I use this in my classroom? I do not know about you, but the majority of what I see and hear inspires my daily lesson plans.  I think to myself how can I use this to teach my students valuable lessons connected to core content and state standards? Hence, many of my lessons and projects are sparked by an idea, image, podcast, even a display at a store or museum.  The world has become my textbook for the classes that I teach.

Chocolate and candy are definitely great motivators to help teach students about anything but there are other lessons available with Chocomize.  Lessons connected to entrepreneurship, marketing and sales, profit margins and business success.  I contacted the people at Chocomize to find out if they would offer me a discount since I was a school and would use the candy bars as a fundraiser – with the idea that my student would choose where they wanted to direct the profits.  They did offer me a discount and I proceeded to map out the lessons.

First, I gave my students background information about the company.  I am always intrigued to hear about how companies come to fruition and how they maintain success. I asked my students to read about the company and make connections with what we had already studied in class.  After students had an idea about the company and the concept behind Chocomize, I gave out the assignment: create a candy bar to market to students at our school. Working individually and in small groups students were given a week to create samples of their candy bar creation for a taste-off the following week.  Before the taste-test competition students had to come up with a name for their chocolate candy bar creation and a logo or print advertisement.  The day of the taste-test we sampled more than a dozen chocolate candy bar creations.  It was difficult to taste so many chocolate candy bars consecutively, despite that small challenge, students ranked each candy taste and then secretly voted for the best one.  The winning chocolate bar creation was made with milk chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers and kit kat bars.

While the candy bar went into production we studied aspects of successful business models, social entrepreneurship and profit margins.  We discussed the best ways to market the chocolate candy bars and come up with a price that would sell the bar and also leave us with a small profit to donate the proceeds to a local charity.  Thus, with a little fun and a lot of chocolate students learned some math, business, marketing, and communications.

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