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Monday Morning Ready02.09.2015
Jumpstart Your Week!

When most of us hear the word chocolate, we picture a candy bar, a box of bonbons or an Easter bunny. And the verb that comes to mind on consuming chocolate is probably “eat,” not “drink.” And the adjective used to describe it would be “sweet.” But in fact, for about 90 percent of its long history, chocolate was a beverage—and no one would have called it sweet ... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Why do you think 17th century Europeans believed that chocolate had nutritious and medicinal benefits? What medical conditions do you think they might have treated with chocolate?

Grade 5-6

Why do you think chocolate was a fashionable drink in Europe in the 17th century? Do you think it stayed fashionable after it was mass-produced? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, modern “chocolate” includes affordable treats with more sugar and additives in them than actual cacao. Does knowing this affect how you feel about chocolate? Why or why not?

Grade 9-10

How do you think the recent “chocolate revolution” will impact the chocolate industry? Do you think these changes will filter into all segments of the chocolate market or will the more affluent enjoy premium chocolates while the masses are left with affordable treats that contain more sugar and additives than actual cacao? Why?

LESSON PLAN
Analyze Characters

PROCESS:

  1. List the names of six characters from a book that you are now or have recently read in class. Review the characters with students to ensure that they remember and understand the traits of each.
  2. Divide the class into groups of six. If numbers don’t work out evenly, create smaller groups. No group should have more than six members.
  3. Give each group an index card. Tell them to think of a funny situation where their characters could interact write it on their cards. Gather the cards.
  4. Give groups a few minutes to assign each member a character. Tell students to keep their identities secret. Then select a group to go first. Invite the group to pick a card, read it aloud, and act like their characters would in this situation.

ASSESSMENT:

After each performance, challenge classmates to identify which student portrayed each character in the skit. Further evaluate the performances based on the grade-level criteria outlined below.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Challenge students to note words or actions performers used to make their characters known. Evaluate how each character dealt with the situation encountered in the scene.

Grades 5-6:
Based on what they know of the characters, have students examine whether or not most performers reacted to the situation in an appropriate way. Encourage students to give examples of how their classmates excelled at staying in character during each performance.

Grades 7-8:
Encourage students to identify how each character dealt with the situation depicted in the scene. Have them assess how true each performer stayed to the character. Then evaluate each group’s creativity and ability to stick with the plot.

Grades 9-10:
Rather than having each group act out a different scenario, select one situation and have groups pick up the action where the previous group left off. After all groups have performed, encourage students to assess how true each performer stayed to his or her assigned character. Examine how the characters evolved as different performers took over.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Did you know there was chocolate on Mars?
Be sure to check the date in the byline!

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