Implementation of “Priča o čokoladi” (SOl-HR-314)

Author: Nikolina Janc, English and German teacher (master’s degree) 

School/Organization: Primary school Šećerana, Beli Manastir, Croatia 

This is a story of an online implementation of the learning scenario “The story of chocolate” (HR- CUR-669) which was carried out with seventh grade students in a rural primary school in Croatia. It was implemented into English lessons. During these lessons the students watched a video about the origin of chocolate, looked at photos about chocolate, learnt about the desserts and practiced making acronyms in a comic with the word chocolate.  

What is more, their imagination about their favorite sweet was enriched by new knowledge they discovered in Europeana video and pictures. 

The students did the activities suggested in the learning scenario and found them so interesting that they decided to go on with some other creative ideas about chocolate. One of the most stimulating parts of the activities they did was consuming the chocolate they brought to class. I chose this scenario because of the interesting topic and activities in the scenario. 

Team building 

The learning scenario “The Story of Chocolate” was used during three English lessons with seventh grade students in primary school Šećerana, in the district school in the village Baranjsko Petrovo Selo in Croatia. The students are 13-year-olds and there are 12 students in this grade. Students in this class were not familiar with Europeana as a source of knowledge.  

I decided to conduct lessons on desserts and the history of our favorite dessert, chocolate.  

The learning scenatio “The Story of Chocolate” teaches students about the origin of chocolate, makes them think about the pros and cons of consuming chocolate. Therefore, the students are prepared to talk and present their attitude and opinion about the popular sweet. Moreover, we as teachers should use collaborative learning in class to encourage students to work together and to achieve a common goal and deliver results as a team. 

Padlet introduction 

The aim of this lesson was to encourage students to research and think critically about chocolate through group work and creating a comic as a final product which will contribute to multimodal literacy.  

As an introduction to the lesson, I used the pictures on Europeana given in the learning scenario to make students think about the topic of the lesson. After looking at the pictures and guessing the topic the students, I let students type on the padlet board all the words that come to their mind when they think about chocolate. As a result, we got words and collocations students have when they think about chocolate.  

Padlet typing, photo by Nikolina Janc, CC BY 

The discovery of Europeana  

Next, we watched the two videos about the history of chocolate given in the learning scenario “The Story of Chocolate”. The students were amazed by the facts that they had found out about the origin and history of chocolate. They did not know that it came from a cocoa plant, that is actually bitter. One fact that shocked them most was the moment in history when children were abused and deprived of their childhood to work in factories that produced cocoa powder used for making chocolate. 

At this point, I showed the students the resources and possibilities of Europeana and we talked about different desserts they like to eat every day. They reflected and talked freely about their tastes and likes.  

Chocolate poster comics 

At the beginning of the next lesson students were given instructions on what to do and unfortunately the tablets they have in school do not function anymore and they were unable to make comics online, so I adapted the task and divided them into groups of four and gave them posters on which they made comics. They used the tablets as a source of information and dictionary.  

Group work, photo collage by Nikolina Janc, CC BY 
Pinboard in the classroom, by Nikolina Janc, CC BY 

Positive emojis 

The implementation of this scenario allowed my students to be active in learning, it was not all about the content, it was all about collaboration and the process of learning as a group. The students got a chance to develop their research skills and express their creativity.  

The students showed lots of emotions, positive and satisfying energy especially when doing the task and eating the chocolate they brought to class. I could hear them asking their peers questions such as …” Did you know that chocolate is not that old?” or “Where did you find the information about cocoa?” I must admit I too learnt a lot of information. This type of engagement is the key to successful learning.  

I would advise other educators to implement the same learning scenarios because they enrich the learning process and take students away from their books into the world they might not know existed. Even though we did not use Storyboard that or Thinklink digital tools as suggested in the scenario, since we do not have tablets or computers in our school, our implementation was a great success for both students and me.  

Teacher workout  

By choosing this scenario, I wanted to surprise my students and offer them another way of learning and show them other resources for education.  My aim was to evoke their creativity and push them into collaboration, something that they have forgotten after the forced separation we all experienced in the COVID crisis.  

My advice to other educators is to use Europeana resources as often as possible, because it is a rich platform that can make your classes bloom and help your students learn and not easily forget. They should also watch out for key words that help find what they are looking for.  There are also many scenarios where they can find interesting topics and put them all together into one new topic and idea for interesting and successful teaching. 

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Priča o čokoladi created by Ankica Šarić and Sanja Jelaković Kühner    

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Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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