Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Reason I Teach

At the end of every year I do a literature unit based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. To be completely honest, until I began teaching this unit I'm not sure I had ever read the book, but I always loved the original movie.

Throughout the weeks, we do many different activities.
We make puppets from the main characters such as Charlie, Grandpa Joe, Mr. Wonka, and the other ticket holders. They then choose a form of poetry to write about the characters. Here are some of the puppets on our bulletin board.

We create our own candy bar wrappers after discussing slogans and how advertisers use them to sell their products. This year the kids made Smart Bars, The Air Bar, Dynamite Bar, Grand Slam Bar and many more. Here are their candy bars in all their glory!

We also create edible murals of the chocolate room. We paint with chocolate pudding, add green cocount for grass, and then all kinds of candy for flowers, trees, and other decorations. The kids have a blast creating the murals! I goofed and forgot to take a picture of these.
Another project involves groups of students creating a "candy making machine". They use old boxes and their imagination to create a machine that makes their candy bars. They paint them and then use markers or construction paper to complete the look. Once the machines are finished they write a persuasive letter to Mr. Wonka trying to get him to buy their machine and sell their candy bars. I always get pretty good writing pieces with this assignment! Here is one of the machines that two of my boys made. They went all out as you can see.

At the end of the unit, we invite parents into our own chocolate factory. The students create golden tickets (oops didn't get those pictures either) to give their parents to bring to the factory. At the party, the students guide the parents around the room sharing with them everything we did throughout the study.
Every year I have a full house and this year was no exception.

During the factory day the students share their book report projects. This is their final project in which they can choose any method for sharing their favorite part of the book. This year we had dioramas, posters, and a powerpoint.

Of course a chocolate factory wouldn't be complete without eating chocolate!
We had a chocolate fountain with lots of dipping foods like marshmallows, strawberries, pretzel sticks, and pound cake. There were brownies too, which many students discovered tasted even better when dipped in melted chocolate. Yes, I had the perfect class for me, can you tell?

At the end of our celebration, every parent gets to take a chocolate recipe book with a recipe from every student inside and a chocolate bar. The kids love to give the cookbooks to their parents, but they all beg to keep the chocolate bar for themselves.

The chocolate factory is such a hit at the end of the year. I figure if I end the year with such an awesome celebration that then they will always remember Mrs. T as being the "fun" teacher! It works.


  1. Sounds like fun! Can Audrey be in your class next year?

  2. Awwwww, that makes me miss teaching. SO FUN!

  3. How awesome! You'll be remembered as one of their favorite teachers!

  4. I can't see how these kids wouldn't remember you as their all time favorite teacher. That is one killer project!

  5. I wish I was in your class - that looks like so much fun!!

  6. Third graders doing PowerPoints??? What an awesome, inspirational teacher you are! You'll definitely be in their memory books as their favorite teacher of all time! Love, Aunt Steph

  7. So cool! This makes me want to be a teacher!

  8. What an awesome way to wrap up the unit with that literature book! Great ideas for tying in all the curricular areas! (Don't I sound like a geeky teacher?? :)

    Heck, I'd want you to be MY teacher!!

  9. What a great unit! I'm considering going back into the classroom for this coming year so if I do, I may have to 'borrow' this idea. I love it!!!!

    BTW, do you own the chocolate fountain thingy?

  10. I want to be in your class. I am sure they will remember this. I'm 40, and I still remember many of the projects and activities that we did in elementary school. And especially, the teachers who inspired me with such creativity.

  11. Also - my Boo is into Willy Wonka (we saw the play at a children's theatre last winter) and he's been constantly singing "The Candy Man." Maybe for practice over the summer I will have him design candy bars and write a letter to Willy Wonka.

  12. That is so cute and so much fun! And chocolatey - yum! I'd like your class - LOL!

  13. Wow, that is SO cool! We read that in 5th grade and our teacher wrote a shortened version for us to perform as a play. I think we also had to write a "sequal" to the book. Thanks for bringing back those fond memories! I hope my DS has a cool teacher like you someday:)


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