Making and Marketing Chocolates in Grade 8

I recently has the honour of being invited to a launch party showcase for the SMAK-G Chocolate Company. The invitation read:

The grade 8 students at Michael Strembitsky School have spent the last 5 weeks engaged in a unique learning opportunity that combines multiple curricular outcomes and competencies into a real-world scenario.  The students were tasked with the job of creating a new chocolate bar, designing the packaging and coordinating an advertising and marketing campaign for the new bar.

The SMAC-G Chocolate Company
The SMAK-G Chocolate Company

Teachers Brent Sheehan, Julie Arsenault, Laina Kelly, Jeannette Burtt, Brandi Devitt had done a fantastic job linking the project to their curricula: “The SMAK-G Chocolate Project combines the science of making chocolate (particle theory, mixtures, viscosity and density), the math behind package design (surface area, volume and designing 3-D nets), persuasive writing techniques from Language Arts and finally, knowledge and understanding of French food vocabulary for a bilingual package.  Students have spent time immersed in various scaffolding and learning activities, speaking to chefs and local chocolatiers as mentors, and working with our in-house graphic designer to develop cross-curricular competencies such as innovation, the ability to solve complex problems and apply multiple literacies, all the while demonstrating good communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others.” Even though it wasn’t designed specifically to address Career and Technology Foundations (CTF), it does. It is a real CTF challenge.

Curricula Connections
Curricula Connections

Student groups had set up all around the learning commons. When I arrived they were ready to deliver their pitches, provide samples and answer questions from the judges.

Amour chocolate display
The Experience chocolate display
Carnival Chocolates
Carnival Chocolates

In addition to creating the chocolate recipes, students created boxes with ingredients listed in both English and French – how Canadian!

Box before assembly
Box before assembly

I was impressed by the attention to detail some of the marketing campaigns displayed.

Movie Treats
Movie Treats
Limon Chocolate Display
Limon Chocolate Display
Amour Chocolates
Amour Chocolate

I loved how different all of the chocolates and the marketing campaigns were.

White Chocolate
White Chocolate and triangle box
All of the marketing campaigns were different
All of the marketing campaigns were different

I can’t wait to see what the students do next at Michael Strembitsky school!

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