This month, we’ll discuss the book before snack. Then, as a snacktivity, we’ll dip different foods in chocolate to see which ones are good and which are better undipped.
We ended up with 9 boys (including one 5th grader who has technically aged out but was accompanying his little brother) and 7 adults. They all really liked the book. Most of the kids found it funny, although some of the adults found it touching or moralistic. Interestingly, I had a last minute cancellation from one third grader who thought it was too scary to talk about.
After everyone got a chance to say what they thought about the book, I passed out discussion questions to the tables and let them discuss.
The discussion went about 20 minutes, so I thought we were going to wrap up too soon, which would definitely be a first, but the tasting took a good long time. I made crock pot fondue with 3 cups of milk chocolate chips, 1 cup of cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. For dipping, I had apples, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, vanilla Oreos, Teddy Grahams, Cheez-Its, Pringles, marshmallows, Froot Loops, gummy bears, and sour gummy worms. I told them they could take whatever they wanted, but that if they tried it plain they had to also try it dipped in chocolate. I also handed out a little half sheet with places for them to fill out which foods were better plain and which were better with chocolate. The least favorite dipped foods were apples, Froot Loops, Cheez-Its, and Pringles. A few boys said they might have liked the Pringles better with white chocolate, and some of them told me the Froot Loops were so sweet they couldn’t even taste the chocolate. I was surprised that the apples weren’t popular – I’ve had caramel apples with chocolate, and that’s good – but it was pretty universally agreed that apples and chocolate is not a good combo.
Next month – The Mad Potter by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
- John thinks he will be happy eating nothing but chocolate. If you had to pick just one food to eat all the time, what would it be? Why?
- This book is based on the Greek myth “The Midas Touch,” where everything King Midas touches turns to gold. Would you rather have the chocolate touch or the Midas touch? Why? Can you think of a “touch” you’d like to have?
- Have you ever been in a situation where you caused something bad to happen, either on purpose or by accident? How did you handle it?
- When John found the coin on the street, he used it to buy chocolate. If you found $5 on the street, what would you buy? Why?
- John’s tonic tastes like soap, mud, glue, ink, and paint. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever tasted? What did it taste like?
- This book was originally written over 60 years ago, in 1952. Were there any differences (or similarities) between John’s life and yours that you find surprising?
- All About Chocolate from the Field Museum (I would use this if I wasn’t afraid the computers would get covered in chocolate!)
- Chocolate Touch Readers’ Theater (This would be fun with more time!)