Friday, 18 September 2015

Chocolate...nom nom nom..

I arranged a chocolate workshop fully intending it to be a 'not back to school' trip to kick us off for the year, I couldn't think of a better way to start the new academic year, but due to some needing the date changed because of clashing events it got pushed forwards a few weeks and has become just another workshop, we replaced it with our camping trip instead for our not back to school celebration, but boy oh boy it will be a good week covering chocolate topics following the workshop.

I had intended to do work surrounding chocolate before the workshop but the stone age took precedence, but now the stone age can take a back seat and it will be chocolate all the way for the next week.

I kicked off our morning before the workshop with a quick video about chocolate, where it comes from and what it is..

We visited our fabulous book shelf and pulled out Charlie and the chocolate factory to read over the next week and searched online for a free streaming of the wonderful film version, feeling rather sad actually after discovering the west end musical version is currently running, which we would have loved to have gone to, but funds are tight so trips to London to visit the West end are obviously out of reach at the moment, sadly.. but their resources may come in handy at some point over the next week, I will store them here and maybe re-visit them when I am over my devastation of not living in London right now to get to the show.. click the picture if you dare!....

With all the joy that chocolate brings and the fun we can have with it, there is also a dark side of chocolate which I will be bringing to the twins attention which I hope raises questions for them and starts a discussion which will lead to an awareness that our western privilege can directly impact others suffering and misery, but also a focus on some of the human rights work that goes on.

I have struggled to find a child friendly video to demonstrate the horrors without it being to graphic for them, there are plenty of educational documentaries for adults to watch but not very much to bring awareness to children, such as this one...


The only suitable video I can find to introduce the issue is via this video which just tells the stories of a couple of children working in the cocoa farms. This should spark conversation, so if you know anything in child friendly language that covers child labour I would love to see it.

It is disappointing not to be able to find anything suitable for children although, I do understand, kids need to be kids and kept away from the horrors of the real world, but my attitude is slightly on the side of  'if kids are contributing to the misery in the world, they need to be aware of those consequences' even if that is just an awareness and not an actual full understanding, for instance the twins know if they eat too much chocolate, it will 'splat' on their heart, all consequences of unhealthy eating, so why not human costs too... 

Especially as you consider children are the biggest consumers when it comes to chocolate, they should be aware of their actions. We tell them they should eat healthy or it will be detrimental for their health, so why not also inform them of the detrimental effects to other humans too, after all those other humans are just as important as we are. and not only are we responsible for our own health but also responsible for others too in a collective sense..

Hopefully this will give them something to think about. 

We have a theme of Doctor Who this year to spice things up a bit so I have dug out the old episode of The Happiness Patrol, while not strictly chocolate based it does incorporate candy, the story itself has roots of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (especially the film version). in it so I can use this to devise a few Dr Who Themes Chocolate worksheets for maths and english.

Here is the episode if you wish to take a peak, see what it is all about.(click the picture). or you can just click here to find out the synopsis from BBC without watching it, if you just can't bare to watch Dr Who...

Fun Fun Fun was had at the workshop, a lovely lady named Louise Newton from a company called Chocolate Collective (find her website here) ran the workshop for us, do check her out and if you ever do want a chocolate afternoon full of fun then she is definitely the lady to go too.

It was an afternoon of pure heaven, I made Truffles and the kids both made chocolate lollipops, of course Olivia ate hers before it even set.... Oliver took pride in his and it seems like he wants to frame his but I am sure big brother will not allow that to happen.

The chocolate making was a messy bit of fun and we had an educational talk covering what chocolate is and where it comes from and a bit of its history in Europe and Africa.

It really was a good afternoon in great company of other home edders and everyone had lots of fun.

I found a great website that covers chocolate, definitely worth a look and is playing a big part in our learning about chocolate Exploring Chocolate

I found a lot of resources for chocolate to cover, I devised a great 'checklist' of what we have learned about chocolate from some of the information that we had gathered during the week.

I have turned this into worksheets for us to file away. I will share them when we have covered everything we need to, as it will be altered throughout the week to fit what we find.

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