I don’t know about you, but I was always looking for ways to keep my students’ motivated, yet keep up the rigor of our curriculum. There certainly needs to be a balance and a plan. So what was my plan for the month of February? Let me start with my favorite unit ever! Delicious CHOCOLATE-related language arts activities! Yes, you heard that right!
I decided to provide my students with literacy activities throughout the month of February and as a reward for doing their best work, we would MAKE CHOCOLATE together! Once students knew the end game, I was golden. I had their attention.
1. Novel Studies
I started off with some novel studies. We all know that students read on different levels and at different paces, so I decided to divide my students up into groups.
Group 1- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 810 Lexile Level
Group 2- The Chocolate Touch 770 Lexile Level
Group 3- Chocolate Fever 680 Lexile Level
During our literacy block, I allowed students to read independently or with their group. Choice gave them power over their preferred way of learning. I then provided comprehension questions for each chapter using a variety of rigorous text-dependent questions and high-interest writing prompts. While students were reading and responding to the text, I circulated to the different groups keeping them on task, having discussions, and offering help. When students finished their novel study, we had a book discussion with the whole class. We compared the stories and plots. I was thrilled to see that students wanted to read the other books too, so I made them available for independent reading time.
If interested in the reading comprehension questions I developed for each unit, click below:
2. Web Quest
Next, I wanted to provide the students with a research opportunity and incorporate technology. I created a Chocolate Web Quest where students learned about the history and how chocolate is made. There are some fascinating facts on chocolate! A web quest is actually easy to make if you want to make one on your own. I created it through Powerpoint, put in the links, and converted it to a PDF. One student said, “This is so fun learning about chocolate and I learned so much HISTORY too!” Don’t you love it?
3. Opinion Writing
The last literacy activity was opinion writing called Is Chocolate Healthy? Students got to read two different viewpoints on the topic and develop their own opinion. Then they wrote an opinion essay. I loved the discussions over this topic!
4. Making Chocolate: I didn’t forget!
Yes, we finished off the unit by making our very own chocolate bars with a bunch of different ingredients. We melt chocolate all morning and have the whole school smelling chocolate and drooling. Everyone wanted to know what we were doing. Then each student made their own chocolate bars with a variety of ingredients and named the bars. I have a blog post with directions: How to Make Chocolate Bars.
Whenever I run into past students, even when they are adults, they always tell me that they remember my chocolate unit and how much they loved it. So, if you do anything this February, bring some chocolate into the classroom! Your students will thank you for many years to come! YUM!
If you want all of these activities prepped and planned for you, I have it all! Just CLICK HERE!
I didn’t want to leave without sharing this other blog post where I share ideas for February literacy centers. There are some fun ideas for teaching reading comprehension, grammar, creative writing and informative writing including Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Heart Month, and Presidents’ Day! Click the picture below to learn more.
Well all my ROCKSTAR teacher friends, I hope you found some rockin’ ideas for the month of February! Stop by the store on the way home and treat yourself to some chocolate! (It just might be healthy!) You deserve it!
GO ROCK YOUR TEACHING!