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Mitchell Middle School Gains Global Perspective Through Chocolate Day

February 20, 2014
To stimulate curiosity and gain a global perspective, Mitchell Middle School celebrated Chocolate Day on February 13 and 14. Teachers taught thematically with chocolate giving students a fun, yet informative lesson plan.
While the two-day celebration, which coincided with Valentine’s Day, was aimed at gaining a global perspective among students, Chocolate Day also contributed to Mitchell Middle School’s candidacy for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.
 “International Baccalaureate (IB) is an educational framework.  IB offers four high quality international education programmes to more than one million students in 146 countries,” says Amy Strawn, IB MYP Coordinator.
Hands On Lesson  
Hands On Lesson.
Also the one who suggested the theme, Strawn researched various subjects until she suggested the idea of teaching chocolate thematically. She was drawn toward the chocolate idea because of its global implications and potential to enlighten students. Plus, while it coincidently fit with the upcoming Valentine’s Day, it was also a perfect way for the students to learn.
“IB offers students a holistic learning experience.  Teachers use the inquiry model to design and develop real-world and hands on learning experiences,” Strawn explains.
During Chocolate Day, all classes were taught about various subjects dealing with chocolate. Integrated into each lesson was a “problem to solve” for students to gain a more global perspective and to coincide with the IB Programme.
In science, students had a Socratic seminar on chocolate’s effect on the human bodies, a density lab figuring out which chocolate melts the fastest, and a discussion about energy transfers. In math, students created graphs and wrote an article based on the per capita consumption of chocolate in each country.  
In language and literature, the ethical implications and economic issues surrounding chocolates were taught. The middle schoolers were also educated on the idea of fair and unfair trade involving child labor and even watched documentaries in class. In humanities, students tackled the history of cocoa and the cocoa chain from farmer to consumer.
In physical and health education, the students ran laps for chocolate while learning how many laps burn the same amount of calories for different brands of chocolate. For composition, the students were asked to write a “jingle” for a chocolate bar. Finally, in design (technology) class, the students learned how chocolates are advertised while creating their own advertisements too.
Mitchell’s aspiration to become an International Baccalaureate school gives teachers, not only a chance to teach thematically, but to unite and grow. In every classroom the ten values of the IB Programme are posted: to be Knowledgeable, Principled, Balanced, Open-minded, Reflective, Caring, a Communicator, Thinker, Risk-taker, and an Inquirer.
The Values of IB Program
The Values of IB Program
Strawn continues saying, “The IB learner profile, consisting of ten unique attributes, is at the center of the IB programme and students and teachers strive each and every day to embody the profile.  IB allows teachers to constantly grow as educators challenging them in many ways.”
As they continue the process of becoming an official IB school, Mitchell succeeds in planning their very first enjoyable and educational Chocolate Day.

Precious Prado, Public Relations Intern