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Healthy Chocolate?

  • GCSE
  • SciQ Sequences

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Imaginative inquiry
Topic: Health & fitness

A chocolate manufacturer claims its new, high cocoa bar is good for your heart. But is it? This is the context for teaching pupils how to evaluate evidence. Healthy chocolate Is our first 'SciQ sequence', an organised series of activities for teaching the 'how science works' concept of validity. The sequence follows the '5E's model' for active, constructivist learning. In practice this means a) having a dedicated ENGAGE
activity, and b) an EXPLORE activity to give students first hand experience of the concept, before the teacher gives a formal explanation. It is designed to take about 2-3 hours, rather than be a single lesson activity like regular topical upd8s.

Published: 22nd October 2007
Reviews & Comments: 6

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Learning objectives

Students will:
• accurately assess the validity of a scientific claim.
• construct an argument against an invalid claim, with correct reasoning.

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

14 – 16 (KS4) How science works.
2d evaluate methods of collection of data and consider their validity as evidence.

GCSE specifications
Unit Biology B1b Human Biology
What can we do to keep our
bodies healthy: cholesterol and saturated fat

Module B3: Living and growing
Causes of heart disease

21st Century Science
Module B2: Keeping healthy
what factors increase the risk of heart disease

If you do the upd8 Wi-Fi activity, see the curriculum links for this activity

Running the activity

The sequence is in 5 parts, hence there are 5 activity files. Each PowerPoint file contains all the slides for the teacher and pupils. In the notes section for each slide you will find complete information for running the sequence. Or you can download the Word file.

News links

Cocoavia website
Information about all the ways you can buy 'healthy chocolate'
Kuna Indians research
Research paper about the effect of a cocoa-rich diet on the Kuna Indians
NY Times report of the launch
Report of the launch of the new healthy chocolate CocoaVia
Wi-Fi radiation levels
The actual results from the Panorama experiment

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

Healthy Chocolate

Feb 4th, 2009

5 Star

I used this actcvty with my Year 10s as they were having trouble with the cncept of validity. Afterwards they all understood it and I overheard a student say I wish i knew this before my physics IAA. My performance manger also enjoyed the lesson!

Reviewer: robert may

Year 10 Biology

Sep 15th, 2008

3 Star

I just ran this activity with year 10 as an introductory lesson for science in the news coursework skills. They were really engaged with the engage activity but got confused by the explore activity as the answer sheets printed the BrainKola and polartex answers the wrong way round and they found the language used quite difficult. I therefore did not use the vote cards and discussed views instead to bring out learning points. I would use this again (after changing answer sheets).

Reviewer: Julie Williamson


Jun 12th, 2008

4 Star

Really useful for our year 9 post sats to get them ready for the ks4 ideas about science

Reviewer: lisa rowlands

Love on the Brain

Jun 7th, 2008

5 Star

I'm always looking for ways to bring science into the classroom with real life activities involving the holidays. Seventh graders are just beginning to feel what love is and I think this activity will not only have their complete attention in February but will also teach them something about their brain that is relevant to them in a fun way.

Reviewer: Denise Evans

GCSE Science

Nov 16th, 2007

5 Star

An amazing resource, ideal for teaching validity idea students find difficult. Ideal for OCR Gateway "Science in the News" projects

Reviewer: Martin Gibson

Correction to pt2 Explore

Nov 16th, 2007

5 Star

On Oct 31st, a new version of pt 2 Explore was uploaded, correcting a couple of text errors in the 'challenge cards'. Thanks to Carol Levick for spotting the mistakes.

Reviewer: Tony Sherborne