Monday, August 06, 2007


chocolate covered vocab lesson:


Part One: Introduction
The name seems to fit the commodity - the word "chocolate" sounds firm, brittle, with the "crack" of breaking chocolate before melting into the "l" sound.
While thinking about the word's ancestry, it's necessary to recall that most of the world now thinks of chocolate always being combined with sugar and made into a confection.
This was not always so. Unknown outside America until the mid 16th century, the flavour of the cacao bean infused in hot water was rather bitter, which was how Spanish explorers first encountered it and subsequently took the beans to Spain.
Variations developed there - adding cinnamon or vanilla, sometimes sweetening and sometimes not. The popularity of this hot drink spread widely throughout Europe. Adding condensed milk and firming fats did not begin until the 19th century, when solid confectionery chocolate as we know it now, was developed.

Part Two: Where did the word 'chocolate' come from?
Some scholars believe that in its place of origin the ancient name for chocolate was xocoatyl meaning "bitter water," originating from the Aztec language called Nahuatl.
But there is dispute about this - since the Nahuatl language appears not to contain that exact word. Chocolate historians Sophie and Michael Coe believe that Spanish conquerors living in America loved to drink chocolate but resisted the Spanish pronunciation of the Aztec word. Spoken in Spanish it had a "caca" sound at the beginning - reminiscent of the universal children's word for excrement, thus rather unwelcome in elegant society... especially when describing something brown.
To overcome this social disability, a sound from another American language - Mayan - drifted into use to make the original Nahuatl word somewhat more respectable-sounding. 'Choco,' (Mayan for 'hot') slid into use to replace the sound 'caca,' (Nahuatl for 'bitter').
The result was a hybrid of two languages - choco-latl which was socially acceptable when spoken in Spanish, and became the basis for one of the best-known international words.

Part Three: Words Words Words
There are lots of words connected with chocolate. Which ones do you recognize?
Nouns: (in no particular order) chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa, chockie, choc-bar, chocoholic, cocoa butter, cocoa solids, hot chocolate, iced chocolate, chocolate ├ęclair, devil's food cake, ganache, mocha, sacher torte, chocolatier... (Remember: "chocolate" is uncountable, but "chocolates" - as in "a box of chocolates" - are countable.)
Adjectives: chocolaty or chocolatey, and the interesting chocolate-box - which means being overly sentimental or cutely pretty (for example a photo of a chocolate Labrador with large, sad eyes).

Part Four: Questions Questions Questions
Here are some general knowledge questions.
Which are the top three chocolate eating countries in the world (per capita)? Choose from these countries.
The United Kingdom
What did the Aztecs add to their hot chocolate drink?
How many cups of hot chocolate a day did the Aztec emperor Montezuma drink?
When did the first hot chocolate cafe open in London?

Part Five: Did You Know?
Did you know that chocolate...
contains 'phenylethylamine' (try pronouncing that quickly), a chemical which is produced by the brain when you fall in love?
contains iron? (Now you have a good excuse to eat it, you need to keep your strength up!)
contains vitamin B? (A stress relieving vitamin. Every busy teacher needs to manage stress, so eat up!)
is a vegetable? (Remember your mother told you to eat plenty of vegetables!)
For more on chocolate, including its health benefits, see the Instant Lessons Chocolate Help and A Slab of Health.
Word Puzzle: How many English words can you make using the word 'phenylethylamine'?
Regards,Max. Vocab.

The Answers:
First Switzerland, and joint second Norway and the United Kingdom.
Chili pepper.


see also:


Miss Candy said...

I love chocolate!

Kitty Kat said...

Cool post!!
( I havn't finished yet but i don't have time to read it all now!)
I think this is a great topic to get children interested in what you are really trying to say!!

cheeseboy said...

I like chocolate tooo, but not as much as cheese

pom said...

Who doesn't like choclate?

pom said...

Sorry, my bad, its chocolate

IM A ROOM5IAN said...

YUM!!! my favourite kind of chocolate is dark chocie!! hehe!! i agree kitty kat!!

Miss Candy said...

some ideas for a term four inquiry learning thing:

* What physical body shape best suits prefered sport option?

*Sport on its own

*the olympic/commmonwealth games




*make and describe a technological thing

primprim said...

i like white chocolate, except sometimes it gives me a big headache. it's funny how the word chocolate originated from "bitter water". some chocolates are quite bitter.

primprim said...

you've been writing a lot of posts since you've been sick, haven't you?

G-man said...

I like whittakers chocolate cause its not as rich as cadbury and I think its more natural.

IM A ROOM5IAN said...

aw, i dunno.... whittakeers can be quite rich...YUM!!

Skipper Bob said...

wow thats interesting

will you be at school tomorrow????????

catgirl said...

Congrats Mr. Woody, you have chosen a topic to get even the most lazy kid on the blog. Who could resist the pure, unspoilt delicacy of chocolate?
The reason some chocolates (most often dark) are generally bitter than others is because they contain a higher level of COCOA BEANS. By themselves, these little chocolate making delights are disgustingly bitter. Trust me, I would know, I've tried one.
I've also been to the Cadbury factory in Dunedin, and know quite a bit about the basics of CHOCOLATE MAKING. It smells really good in the factory. The air is thick with the rich scent of chocolate. Personally I thought it smelt a bit like the Mint Chips chocolate.
I love chocolate by the way. I have a sweet tooth that could beat a lot of yours. Yay CHOCOLATE!!!!!
P.S: And even though I can be a little weird and/or scary, do not be afraid to approach me for info. I don't bite... most of the time... anywho, toodles!

IM A ROOM5IAN said...

WOW CATGIRL! soundds great! i can almost imagine the bitterness of the cocoa beans, and some chocolate is bitter with all of the other ingrediants! hehe, 3 letters; YUM!!!

IM A ROOM5IAN said...

yay! we have tech today!!!

Ezylryb said...

cheeseboy, i agree with you, but i do like chocolate!!!

Kitty Kat said...

I have been to the chockie factourie in dunedun tooo!
it is sooo cool!
I especialy like the tasters they give you!!!!!

Alpha said...

I like chocolite

shorty said...

you would wonder why CHOCOLATE LOVER hasn't posted here

K.O.D. said...

Oh yay, Catgirl has contacted you- you guys should feel very SPECIAL. Um, yeah- hi. I'm bored by the way, and FanFiction.Net doesn't like me right now, so I'm saying hi. Hi!


P.S. I got two Deans Awards today- General Exellence in Information Technology and Science. Gangter huh?

P.P.S. Review KittyKat's poems on DDP ( as well please!!! And CONSTRUCTIVE ones! That's what it's there for...

K.O.D. said...


Miss Candy said...

howz it a vegtable?
it helps prevent the most treatable type cancer!

i love chocie!

maniac me said...

yum yum. yum chocolate

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

mr woody said...

thanks for your comments mr simon. who are you? not someone from our class, but strangely you have the same country of origin and profession as some of my students... hmmm....