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A Simple Chocolate Bar Global Project

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Keywords: Environmental Issues
Subject(s): Spelling, Technology, Science, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Lanier High School, sugar hill, GA
Planned By: Jeannie Lanio
Original Author: Jeannie Lanio, sugar hill
1. Watch a video from CNN called Cocoa-Nomics with a note-taking guide.
2. Students are placed in groups of 3 or 4 and must research one of the following topics.

a. What is Fair Trade chocolate, and how can the program improve the economy and ecology of cocoa production in Africa as well as for other products in other regions?

b.What is UTZ certified, and how can the program improve the economy and ecology of cocoa production in Africa as well as for other products in other regions?

c.How does the production of cocoa beans impact the environmental issues (like loss of the Rain Forest or animal endangerment) of cocoa growing regions like West Africa and South America?

d.What are "shade cocoa farming" sustainable farming methods that can improve practices and results of the cultivation of the crop and how does that relate to some of the issues facing worldwide chocolate production?

e.Looking at other products that go into the manufacture of some candy bars, research issues of their production and regions on the environment:

f.Chocolate Factory, for example the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania, USA, N. America. What challenges exist for this business to do as little harm as possible to the environment with regard to waste management? For example, the Zero Waste to Landfill program

g. A sugar plantation, for example one in the Caribbean, has many environmental impacts and issues involved in production, such as found in "An Enormous Employer Of Labor, Capital And Resources. But Is It Productive?"

h. A farming cooperative making corn syrup, for example in Iowa in the Midwestern USA, N. America, has to deal with the environmental decision of whether or not to use Genetically Modified Corn as well as the health concerns for the use of high fructose corn syrup in many products.

i.. A paper company in the Northwestern USA, N.America. How do these companies assure sustainable harvesting of lumber for the paper used to create wrappers for candy bars? What environmental factors are associated with this part of the candy bar supply chain?

3. The students will research their topic and takes notes on Microsoft word and create a bibliography on Easy Bib (a program our high school uses)

4. Then using a computer program called eClass under the Discussion portion the students post at least 2 facts about their topics and must respond to 2 other students posts.

5. Lastly, each student must write to a policy maker, corporation, or organization using facts from the notes on the video from CNN Cocoa-Nomics AND facts from at least two of the small group topic research. Suggestions will be forthcoming if you can't think of an audience for your synthesized thoughts on the topic.

6. The students will send the letter electronically to the company they have chosen to write too.
This is a great lesson plan for students especially taking Environmental Science or AP Environmental Science
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
You could partner with a Language Arts Teacher
Reflection piece
Materials: Mobile Labs
Other Items: 30 Mobile Laptops such as IPads