New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A6117
Workers husking cacao pods in the West Indies, 1914
If cacao pods have to be husked, what is their shell like?
Why would these workers have long knives?
Why are most workers wearing hats?
What products are made from cacao?
What would it be like to be a laborer in a cacao field?
In what climates do cacao plants flourish?
The English established a college to study tropical agriculture. Why would they be interested in what grew in the West Indies? Could they grow the same crops in England?
How is chocolate made? Who is known as the “Henry Ford of Chocolate Makers”? Where are cacao beans harvested today?
Compare the life of the West Indian cacao worker with that of a southern slave in United States history or that of a migrant farm worker today.
Science: What pests and diseases attack the cacao plant? What can you do to stop them?
English Language Arts: Write a fictional biography of a cacao worker from the West Indies who decides to come to the United States and settle in New York.
Applebaum, Diana. 1997. Cocoa and Ice. New York: Orchard Books, 1997.
Morganelli, Adrianna, 2005. The Biography of Chocolate. St. Catharines, Ont.: Crabtree Children’s Books, 2005.