Chocolate Tank



Here is our 3rd place winner reading about the Chocolate Dirt Bike.
One of our little inventors presenting to the Chocolate Tank Panel.

Have you ever had a really great idea and you wonder if it will play out as perfectly in real life as it did in your head? In my last post, I shared my student's team writing project after our novel study of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When I found the pop-up version on the book I knew I had to come up with something fun to do at the end of the book. Somewhere in the mix, my mom had told me about this show Shark Tank. (I don't know about you but after teaching 23 eight-year-olds then coming home to my own kiddos, I don't actually see new t.v. shows very often!!)

I got the idea that I could take the idea behind Shark Tank (trying to persuade someone to get on board with something you created) and combine that with my novel study...and then the idea for Chocolate Tank was born.

What is Chocolate Tank you ask? Simple.

After we finished our factories, I told the class they were going to be designing their own candy. It had to be an original, never-before-seen creation. Their job was to convince Willy Wonka and a few Oompa-Loompas that their candy should be the next candy coming out of Wonka's Factory.

So, the brainstorming began. Their first task was to draw their prototype. I gave them a sample. I created "Candy Umbrellas" which were made from Twizzlers and candy canes. We had several writing conferences during the stages of their writing with many different versions of a persuasive essay graphic organizer. After about a week of writing and redrafting and a week or so of rehearsals and completing their posters...they were ready.

My principal and our reading and math coach were all on our "panel" and after hitting the Dollar Spot at Target, I grabbed some silly glasses, re-used my plastic top hat, and a sparkly wand. The kids were being judged on several different areas by the panel:
  • creativity
  • eye appeal
  • originality
  • eye contact
  • speaks clearly
  • speaks loudly
  • enthusiasm
The panel asked the Inventors questions before completing their scores.

Each Inventor got a chance to show off their drawings and essay to the audience and panel.

The Oompa-Loompas were waiting for someone to make them laugh. Willy Wonka just wanted to hear how much money these new ideas were going to make.

Thankfully, I had a few extra hands to help add up all the scores behind the scenes while I made sure my kiddos were ready to present. I have to say the morning of the event our rehearsal did not go as smoothly as I had hoped BUT they killed it! I was blown away by their inflections and enthusiasm! They could not have done a better job and made me SO PROUD! Our panel was phenomenal getting our audience (parents) to be actively involved. There were so many times when the entire room was in fits of giggles, cheering, and at one point singing and dancing. Ironically, the song was NOT The Candy Man or any of the Willy Wonka songs.

This was a great way to not only end the unit but the year. We had over a dozen parents arrive in support of our little inventors. It was a very close tie but we ended up with 3 winners: Bad Medicine (a candy that helps gross tasting medicine go down a little easier), Triple Lemon Pac Man (lemonade drops that when added to water create a lemonade that reduces ones thirst), and Candy Dirt Bike (a completely edible dirt bike that even creates hot chocolate when you lick the engine!).

I am so grateful to everyone who came and supported the kids...seeing their faces light up at the sight of their parents made all the word WORTH EVERY MINUTE.

Here's what the set up looked like BEFORE everyone arrived!!

The parents were part of our audience and sat in designated seats.                                                     
Pre-Chocolate Tank photo shoot.
Inventors had VIP seating for the event.

Their team writing factories were proudly on display along one wall.
Our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory anchor charts were hung as extra decoration.

Our panel's table with all their rubrics ready to go!



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