Challenge 1: Green Treasures – Food for the Gods

For Individuals or Groups (2–5 students per group) — Maximum points: 200 (2 entries per school/100 points each)

YOUR CHALLENGE: For the Olmec, Maya and Aztec, cacao was a treasured gift from the gods and to this day, its products are revered for their unparalleled flavor and sentimental value. Research the history of the cacao plant and chocolate, from the plants first utilization in South America to the modern chocolate you get at your corner store. 

Draw inspiration from what you learn to write and illustrate a children’s picture book for early elementary aged students exploring chocolate’s journey throughout history. Utilize the resources provided and explore principles of writing and communication to ensure your children’s book is appropriate for the elementary age group. Downloadable PDF

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Monday, November 14 to Sunday, November 20, 2022

Electronically submit the following:

Delivered to Fairchild in person or via certified mail:

  • Storybook
✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry must be labeled with school name, student(s) name, and name of the submitting teacher

Maximum size 8” X 11.5” containing 10 double-sided pages or less, incorporating original hand-rendered or computer generated imagery and explanatory text

 Story must incorporate research about the uses of Cacao throughout history
 Children’s book must be original, 2-Dimensional, hand-rendered artwork using traditional art mediums or digital illustration techniques.

Bibliography citing a minimum of two sources and follows MLA or APA format and uploaded as a PDF to entry form

 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

OPTIONAL STUDENT WORKSHOP: Thursday, October 13 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
For more information, visit our Student Workshop page. PLEASE NOTE: Registration is CLOSED.

Bring your class on a virtual field trip at Fairchild. Please visit Explorer Field Trip Programs for more information.

For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 1 Evaluation Sheet

This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 1 Benchmarks

Introduce the Challenge to your students: Green Treasures – Food of the Gods
Ted-ED: The history of chocolate – Deanna Pucciarelli (video)
Ted-ED: The history of chocolate – Deanna Pucciarelli (lessons)
University of Oregon Mesoamerican Cultures and their Histories: Cacao & Chocolate – UPDATED September 19, 2022
Dr. Cassandra Quave’s TeachEthnobotany: Madre Chocolate with Dr. Nat Bletter (video) – UPDATED September 19, 2022

Eutopia: Using Sci-Fi in the Science Classroom History of Chocolate
Smithsonian Magazine: What we know about the earliest history of Chocolate
National Geographic Educator’s Guide: Global Stories where Chocolate sparked discovery, innovation and imagination
HertiageDaily: Medicinal and Ritualistic Uses for Chocolate in Mesoamerica
Field Museum’s Educations Resources: Chocolate
Creation Myth: Chocolate Class

The Writer: 5 writing mistakes in Childrens books
reedsyblog: How to write a children’s picture book
MasterClass: How to Write a Children’s Book


The Challenge: Green Treasures is made possible with support from LACC’s U.S. Department of Education Title VI Grant.