This free ESL lesson plan on chocolate has been designed for adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.
Chocolate is a sweet and delicious treat enjoyed by billions around the world. Archaeological evidence suggests chocolate was consumed as long ago as 4,000 years in modern-day Mexico. It was later used by the Maya in religious ceremonies, and the Aztecs associated it with their god Quetzalcoatl. Today, we enjoy chocolate at Easter and Halloween, and it is one of the most popular gifts you can give to another person. It can even help us feel happy when we’re feeling down in the dumps. In this ESL lesson plan on chocolate, students will have the opportunity to discuss and express their opinions on issues such as their favourite chocolate, where chocolate comes from and special times in the year when they eat chocolate.
This lesson plan could also be used with your students to debate these issues for World Chocolate Day, which takes place in July. For more lesson plans on international days and important holidays, see the calendar of world days to plan your classes for these special occasions.
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):
The article talks about scientific research which confirmed what everyone already knew: chocolate can make you feel happy! Unfortunately, the study suggested this effect is only from dark chocolate, not from milk chocolate. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Did they already suspect this was true? Can they think of any other type of food that makes them feel happy?
To save time in class for the conversation activities, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below and answer the listening questions in Section 3 of the lesson plan at home. There are intermediate listening questions and advanced listening questions so teachers can decide which would be more appropriate for their students. Check the answers in the class.
The video for this class is called “The Story of Chocolate: Unwrapping the Bar” by the Fairtrade Foundation which explains how cocoa farmers are not being paid a living wage and what they are doing to help fix this problem.
The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.
This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including how much chocolate thy eat, popular brands of chocolate and childhood memories of chocolate.
After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with chocolate such as chocoholic, chocolatier and as much use as a chocolate teapot. This vocabulary has been chosen to boost the students’ knowledge of less common vocabulary that could be useful for preparing for English exams like IELTS or TOEFL. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.
If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the listening questions. Before checking the answers, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.
Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about chocolate. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as ethical issues in the production of chocolate, how chocolate affects people’s health and how romantic chocolate is.
After the class, students will write about their opinion of chocolate. This could be a short paragraph or a longer piece of writing depending on what level the student is at. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise and improve their grammar with the feedback from their teacher. For students who intend to take an international English exam such as IELTS or TOEFL, there is an alternative essay question to practise their essay-writing skills.