Chocolate Economics 3: Willie Wonka Movie and Text

Chocolate is a very interesting topic to study from an economic viewpoint. From the history of cacao beans as a form of currency to the supply and demand of chocolate today, there are many ways to view chocolate. Here are some ideas:

  1. Use the History of Chocolate site to have students read for evidence (Reading CCSS Anchor Standard 1) of: chocolate as goods, the use of cacao beans as currency, supply and demand of chocolate, etc.
  2. Use the Dirk Mateer: Willie Wonka Golden Ticket Scene and the link to read sections of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the book or online (Reading CCSS Anchor Standard 7) have students discuss Supply and Demand in the movie. Seek other multimedia information and/or lesson ideas on the Roald Dahl official site or Roald Dahl Fan site.
  3. Use some of the information on the What is Money? lesson from EconEdLink. Click on the Key Concept: Characteristics of Money and use this text as you explore primary source documents (Reading CCSS Anchor Standard 1) about chocolate trade to have students link the characteristics of money to evidence they find about cacao beans being used as currency.
  4. If you are teaching K-3, you can use Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory: With the online link, you can talk about George and the Man with the Yellow Hat as they decide to buy goods (chocolate) at the store/market. Discuss wants and making decisions about spending money on chocolate vs something else. You can also discuss buyers/sellers and consumers/producers as they relate to chocolate. Have students use both the text and pictures to find evidence to answer your questions. (Reading CCSS Anchor Standard 1, 3, 4. Speaking CCSS 1) For more ideas on other economics concepts for this book, visit KidsEconPosters.
  5. If you would like to learn more about Milton Hershey, Chocolate Entrepreneur, check out this great new lesson from EconEdLink.
  6. In order to view the processes of how chocolate is made, you can view these informational texts and multimedia texts (Reading CCSS Anchor Standard 7).

Here are some other chocolate stories:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator : The Further Adventures of Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka, Chocolate-Maker Extraordinary by Roald Dahl
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Literature Units) by Concetta D. Ryan
Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith
Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
The Chocolate Cow by Lilian Obligado
Chocolatina by Erik Kraft
Cocoa Ice by Diana Appelbaum
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne

April Bubbles Chocolate : An ABC of Poetry by Lee Bennett Hopkins
The Big Block of Chocolate by Janet Slater Redhead
Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery  by David A. Adler
Hot Fudge (Bunnicula and Friends) by James Howe
The Chocolate Sundae Mystery (Boxcar Mystery No 46) by Gertrude Warner
The Ghost Who Ate Chocolate  by Susan Saunders
Chocolate Island (Usborne Young Puzzle Adventures) by Karen Dolby
The Chocolate Kingdom Caper  by Swanee Ballman
The Chocolate Train by Joanne Kornfeld
The Case of the Chocolate Fingerprints  by Parker C. Hinter
Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory  by Margret Rey
Wellington’s Chocolatey Day  by Mick Inkpen
Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise  by Suzy Kline
Max’s Chocolate Chicken  by Rosemary Wells
Chocolate : Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh
Beans to Chocolate (Welcome Books: How Things Are Made) by Inez Snyder
All About Chocolate: The Ultimate Resource to the World’s Favorite Food  by Carole Bloom
Chocolate by Hershey (About Milton Hershey) by Betty Burford
Milton Hershey : Chocolate King, Town Builder by Charman Simon
Chocolate (What’s for Lunch) by Claire Llewellyn
Chocolate : From Start to Finish (Made in the U.S.A) by Samuel G. Woods
A Guide for Using The Chocolate Touch in the Classroom  by Teacher Created Materials Inc
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy That Dropped from the Sky  by Margot Theis Raven
1001 Chocolate Treats  by Gregg R. Gillespie
The Official M&M’s Brand History of Chocolate by Karen Pellaton
How Monkeys Make Chocolate: Foods and Medicines from the Rainforests by Adrian Forsyth
I Like Chocolate by Robin Pickering
The Hershey’s Kisses Addition Book by Jerry Pallotta
The Hershey’s Kisses Subtraction Book by Jerry Pallotta
The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Multiplication Book by Jerry Pallotta
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Weights & Measures by Jerry Pallotta
The M&M’s Brand Chocolate Candies Counting Board Book  by Barbara B. McGrath

About Deborah Kozdras

Instructor and Chief Creative Officer at the Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education at the University of South Florida.
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