English - Will they yield to temptation?

9th November 2012 at 00:00
Test whether your pupils can resist the Chocolate Challenge

With a devilish grin I hand out the Galaxy Caramels. But the children are stronger in spirit than I thought. Five minutes go by and I have broken nobody's will. It is time to turn the power of temptation up a notch.

I unwrap the chocolate slowly, holding it in my fingers, anticipating the delight to come. As I put it into my mouth my eyes close in response to the pleasure of the moment. Deliberately and in slow motion I begin to chew, making little sounds of pleasure at every melting moment of mastication.

Surely the children cannot last much longer. Popular opinion insists that Jason has already had two furtive licks of one of the sweets when he thought no one was looking. Now he is salivating so badly that a tiny droplet of drool has escaped the corner of his mouth and suspended itself from the end of his chin.

This is our Chocolate Challenge, which explores the themes of temptation and the power of advertising in a cross-curricular context. The lesson is a mouth-watering opportunity to bring learning to life.

First the children did some research into Lent. They found that it is the period leading up to Easter and commemorates the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert. They also discovered that it is traditionally a time when many Christians seek to strengthen their faith by giving up something they really enjoy: something like chocolate.

Before the children can begin their battle with temptation, however, we receive disturbing news from Ofchoc. It seems the entire country has decided to take part in our Chocolate Challenge. Dentists and dietitians are delighted, but Billy Bonka, the billionaire confectioner and donor of free goodies to the Houses of Parliament, is dismayed. He offers a billion pounds to anyone who can write a radio advertisement that will persuade people to eat chocolate again.

It is Jason's radio advert for the smoothest, creamiest chocolate ever that proves the most persuasive. At the click of a mouse a melting saxophone oozes from the loudspeakers. In my best Morgan Freeman voice I start to read over the top.

After six minutes the children are still firm in their resolve not to give in. Their chocolates remain intact and mostly untouched by human lips. But then the power of Jason's words begins to take its toll: "Dreamy and creamy... chewy and gooey... icky and sticky... "

Jason gives in first after six minutes 35 seconds. Britney and Starr soon follow. After 10 minutes only one chocolate remains uneaten: Gemma has a nut allergy and isn't allowed sweets.

"Who's having her chocolate?" asks Jason.

Well, you know what they say: "God helps those who help themselves."

Steve Eddison is a key stage 2 teacher at Arbourthorne Community Primary School in Sheffield

What else?

Try Teachers TV's collection of persuasive writing starters.


TroyCarnie has shared a range of activities introducing pupils to persuasive writing techniques.


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