Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chocolate tasting in the Classroom

I was reading a blog about a fun classroom activity that if I had a room of my own, I would totally do.  Actually now that I think about it, I think I'll have my husband do this when he goes into our sons classroom for his Halloween read aloud that we signed up for at Back to School night.  Her story can be found HERE.

I'll show you a glimpse though...

I took a chocolate tasting class a couple of months ago (planned and taught by Reference Librarian extraordinaire Bill Meltzer at Old Worthington Library). I decided then and there that I wanted my students' experience in our classroom to feel like, if not taste like, the chocolate tasting classroom that night.


•THERE WERE BOOKS ABOUT CHOCOLATE ALL AROUND THE ROOM FOR US TO CHECK OUT AND TO EXTEND OUR LEARNING.
Some teaching is about instruction, but a goodly amount of it is simply about invitation. Rather than finishing units or even lessons, I'll do my best to point to the resources that students can us to continue their learning and exploring.
•THE TEACHER ENCOURAGED RISK-TAKING, BUT MADE IT FEEL SAFE.
We started by eating a half of a piece of Dove dark chocolate. Then we went on to taste chocolates of increasing amounts of cocoa. Each time we moved to the next level, we learned how to identify and name the new flavors and "notes" we were tasting. The next-to-last piece we tasted was 100% cocoa. I wouldn't care to sit down and eat a whole bar of it, but I had learned, step by step, to appreciate it for what it was. We ended by eating the other half of the Dove. It just tasted sweet. There were none of the nuances of flavor and texture that we had learned, in one short hour, to appreciate.
•I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK FOR THE NEXT CLASS:  CHEESE TASTING!!

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