Groew: where in the world?
Where in the world is cocoa grown? Use maps and facts to find out about life in Ghana.
Planning the lesson
This lesson involves:
- locating the top cocoa-producing countries on maps of the world and Africa and discussing key facts about Ghana
- locating chocolate producing countries
- understand the impact and economic significance of the geographical separation of raw materials and manufacturing.
Ask students where they think cocoa comes from. Does it grow in hot places or cold places? They should remember from earlier activities that cocoa is grown in Ghana and may recall some information about the climate from the photos they have seen.
Explain that cocoa likes constantly high temperatures and a lot of rain. Do they know what kind of climate this is?
Forty-seven countries produce cocoa and most is grown in a narrow belt 10 degrees either side of the Equator, where temperatures are between 21°C and 32°C and rainfall between 1,500mm and 2,500mm a year – the perfect humid, tropical climate for cocoa trees.
By contrast, London’s temperature range is between 4°C and 28°C, with an annual rainfall of 600mm.(back to top)
Look at globes or atlases to find countries within this tropical belt (10 degrees either side of the equator). Help your students to find the top 7 cocoa producing nations, listed below.
Countries with an output of at least 100,000 tonnes a year are shown below.
Cocoa production by country (tonnes of cocoa beans per year)
Source: International Cocoa Organisation, 2009/10
Distribute Printout: World map and ask students to mark and label these cocoa-producing countries.
Ask students to mark the following chocolate-producing countries on their maps.
They will then notice the different geographical spreads of cocoa producers and chocolate makers.
Chocolate production by country (tonnes of cocoa ground per year)
Source: Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa statistics, 24(1), 1997/98
Distribute Printout: Ghana key facts. Give students a few minutes to read and absorb the information or read around the class. Then explain that they are going to play a game of True or False based on the information on Printout: Ghana key facts.
You could label one wall of the classroom True and the other False and ask students to move (quietly) to the wall of their choice after each question is read out, or you could ask them to note their answers on paper and mark afterwards.
Here are some suggested questions to start you off:
- Ghana is in W. Africa. (True)
- UK is in the USA. (False)
- There are more people in Ghana than in the UK. (False. There are about 60 million here.)
- Ghana is much bigger than the UK. (False. It’s about the same size.)
- The capital of Ghana is Accra. (True)
- Ghana is famous for its diamonds. (False. Ghana is famous for gold and cocoa.)
- There are very few cocoa farmers in Ghana. (False. There about 720,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana.)
- Ghana is a very rich country. (False. It’s one of the poorest in the world.)
- Many people don’t have clean water to drink in Ghana. (True)
- 8 in 100 children in Ghana die before they are five. (True)
Talk through the key facts about Ghana and give students time to record any comparative information on the UK. Discuss the problems faced by cocoa farmers and other producers of raw materials in trading with rich countries.
Alternatively show the DVD (sections on cocoa farming).
Ask students to research more key information about Ghana. They can try to find out about:
- other products and industries
- life in cities
Students research the manufacturers’ names given on various brands of chocolate. Does the same company own more than one brand? Were they surprised by how few parent companies there are for so many different products? How might this situation affect the relationship between chocolate manufacturers and cocoa producers?
Students research the history of cocoa and chocolate production and prepare a presentation for the rest of the class. (back to top)