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The chocolate business grows larger each year. But did you know that chocolate is a New World crop? It comes from a bean that has been grown for more than 3000 years. In fact, it was a part of daily life to the Mayan, Aztec, and other Native American civilizations of the Central and South America. It was originally drunk rather than eaten. The word actually means "bitter drink," for the people drank it unsweetened. They regularly flavored it with vanilla and chili pepper.

Since then, chocolate has become one of the most popular foods in the world, generating billions of dollars in revenue. In addition, health experts have discovered that chocolate contains many healthful benefits. It helps fight cancer, stimulates the brain, and lowers blood pressure. It all comes from a cocoa bean and several thousand years of history.

Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. Do you like chocolate? What do you know about its history?

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. What best describes the first paragraph?
               a. chocolate comes from the New World
               b. it discusses the early history of chocolate
               c. the Aztecs and Mayans had some strange chocolate habits
               d. it describes the relation between Aztecs and chocolate
  2. What cannot be said of the second paragraph?
               a. it generates billions of dollars because of the health benefits
               b. it fights cancer
               c. people all over the world eat chocolate
               d. health experts have discovered that chocolate is healthy

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. How often do you drink or eat chocolate? Is this too much?
  2. Why do you think chocolate has become such a popular food all over the world?
  3. Do you know the background of any other desserts or snacks? Please explain.

Download the lesson:

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