Friday, November 25, 2011

"This is haw you make cocoa"

Although I live in a TV-free household, my son has watched his fair share of cartoons and the like. We have been selective, but now that he's older, I'd rather show him more educational videos rather than just funnies.

Jonah recently got an advent calendar in the mail from his Czech grandma. Perfect, I thought. The back of the box described the company's commitment to fair trade and showed photos of several farmers in the cooperative and of the cocoa bean picking and roasting process. I thought, why not learn a little more and got busy on youtube.

Surely enough, I found three short, accessible segments about the history and making of chocolate. We watched and discussed. Jonah was engrossed.

First we watched a video on unfair and abusive labor practices on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast:

Next we watched a video discussing the reasons why it is important to support fair trade chocolate:

And, finally, we watched a clip made for kids about the history of chocolate and how it is traditionally picked and made from cacao beans:

Apparently my little first-grader was still processing all the information later when we were playing scramble-unscramble words with Scrabble tiles. He wrote: "This is haw you make cocoa."

I remember when he was about three, while we lived in Prague I showed him one of his first "educational" videos. It showed how hot dogs are made. My hidden agenda was that he would be so disgusted that he'd stop begging me for a hot dog from the stand on the way home from school every day. To my chagrin, the video of machines mixing powders, stuffing casings and pooping out hot dogs made him even more excited about this dubious food item. Kids are funny, funny people.