by Megan Mora Fuentes, Home Educators Association of Virginia

[Editor’s Note: If your house is anything like mine, you probably have some candy or chocolate still hanging around from Valentine’s Day. Take a break from your regular schoolwork and do a fun unit study all about chocolate. Don’t forget the taste testing!]Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to add some sweet lessons to your homeschool and create your own chocolate unit study. Check out this blog for some great hands-on, chocolate-covered activities for learning the history and development of chocolate, how to make it from scratch, and how to incorporate it into a variety of homeschool STEM lessons perfect for your chocolate unit study.

Chocolate as We Know It

Bedtime History Stories features a great timeline of the use and development of chocolate around the globe. You can listen to the audio of this podcast episode, check out the video on YouTube (which features a variety of maps and visual resources as well), or read through the podcast transcript on your own.

This article from Mini Yummers shares an engaging but simple, kid-friendly overview of the process by which chocolate as we know it is derived from the cacao plant. You can also try out their recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Note that the measurements are in metric units, which gives you a great opportunity to incorporate some math into your lesson by guiding kids through the conversion.

Chocolate Unit Study Activities

Practical Self Reliance offers a wonderfully in-depth guide to the process of making your own chocolate from scratch. The blog post also offers multiple ways to try it out for yourself, with varying degrees of difficulty and time required. While you will need to plan ahead and purchase your cacao (at whatever stage you choose to take over the processing), the rest of the supplies are pretty simple and likely things you already have on hand.

These seven chocolate STEM activities for kids are great for incorporating homeschool STEM into your chocolate-themed lessons. From simple measuring and counting practice and chocolate chip “excavation” for the littles, to melting and taste tests and the science behind lava cakes for older kids, there are a variety of activities perfect for your homeschool chocolate unit study.

About Megan

A homeschool graduate, Megan earned her associate degree while in high school. She has worked as an office manager for eight years. In her spare time, Megan enjoys kayaking, writing, and baking cookies for anyone who will eat them. She and her husband live in her hometown of Winchester, VA.

This article was originally published on on February 14, 2024. Reprinted with permission.