Choc: Who Eats What?
What are your chocolate-eating habits? Design a survey to find out:
Planning the lesson
This lesson involves discussion and designing a survey around chocolate-eating habits to discover students’ collective purchasing power.
Split the activity across two lessons: lesson one focuses on survey design and testing and lesson two on analysis and presentation of results. Option to collect data during break (outside the tuckshop, for example).
Shorten the whole activity to one 50-minute lesson: cover more in whole-class discussion; simplify survey to fewer questions with fewer decisions to make and simpler presentation options.
Get your students interested by asking about their favourite chocolate product.
Ask what students would like to know about each other’s chocolate-eating habits – things like:
- How many bars did each person eat last week?
- What’s the best bit about a chocolate product – is it the nuts, the caramel, the sugar?
- How often do they buy chocolate and how much do they expect to pay per bar?
After a quick discussion and show of hands, explain that they are going to develop a questionnaire to find out how much the class, and then the school, spend on chocolate. (back to top)
1. Survey design (20 mins)
Give out Printout: How to design a survey. Go through the main points of survey design with students and then ask your students to work in pairs to design a short questionnaire of two to five questions to find out how much chocolate people eat, what brands, and how much they spend on it each week.
2. Survey (20 mins)
Ask each pair to test their questions on another pair and when they are satisfied with their survey to collect and record answers from another four people.
3. Analysis and presentation (30 mins)
Students should decide the best way to put across their data, using paper or ICT, and methods they have already learned, e.g. tally charts or frequency tables.
If time is limited you might ask each pair to present just one or two questions, ensuring a spread of issues across the class. (back to top)
Work out how much the class spends in a week, a month and a year on chocolate.
Extrapolate how much the whole school spends in a year. This will help students understand in later activities the idea that, while the difference in earnings to the farmers from a single Fairtrade bar compared to a traditional bar may seem small, when this is repeated with hundreds of kids and thousands of purchases it really can change the world.
Ask students who makes their favourite bars of chocolate. Ask them to look at chocolate bar wrappers (either those you have provided or their own) to discover where they are made. They will see that only a handful of companies, all of them based in wealthy, industrialised countries, make most of the chocolate they eat! It is these companies who have a great deal of power in the chocolate chain.
In recent years some of these companies have begun to make their supply chains more transparent. See Chocolate Scorecard for how they are doing.
Pick the best questions from the class and design a survey to ask the whole school. Will the whole school results differ from the extrapolated class results? (back to top)