I love reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my first graders! They get so absorbed in the story – gasping and cheering when Charlie find the golden ticket, laughing along with the silly Ompa Loompa songs, begging for “One more chapter!” It makes a teacher’s heart happy.
I usually show them the movie and bring in some Wonka candy as a celebration, but this year I decided I needed to do something a little bigger! And it was SO MUCH FUN!
To start, I made Wonka Bars with Golden Tickets for each student in my class.
(you can download this candy wrapper freebie by clicking the picture)
I used Hershey bars, unrapped them, then rewrapped them with foil and a golden ticket inside.
I fit two chocolate bars in one width of aluminum foil, that way I didn’t have to trim the foil to keep it from getting bulky in the paper wrapper.
I packaged up all the Wonka Bars into a box and had my principal deliver them to my classroom near the end of the school day.
It was so much more magical having the box brought down by the principal – he made it a huge deal that this box came by special delivery to our school and the kids just ate it up!!
I have NEVER seen a group of kiddos more excited than my class when they found the golden tickets!
They kiddos had to wait ALL THE WAY until 1:30 the following day for our party to begin…and honestly, I thought they would be crazy, but they did awesome! While my class was at their computer class, I ran around and set up the Wonka Chocolate Factory in our classroom!
I hung a brown sheet from our wall-mounted TV to make the chocolate waterfall, then another sheet along the floor for the chocolate river. Our green screen backdrop made a perfect field next to our river. Our awesome PTO had all these super cute lollipops from a holiday event, so I borrowed them and put them all around the classroom.
Even “peddle parking” got filled up with lollipops!
I put the Wonka contract on the door so everyone could sign before they entered the Factory…just like in the book! 🙂 (I found the contract image using a Google Image search and enlarged it to print it on 4 pages)
The soundtrack from the newer version of the movie is available on Amazon Prime Music, so I had that playing on the SmartBoard throughout our party.
When I picked my class up from computer, they were literally jumping up and down with excitement! We went back to the room and they signed the contract to be admitted to the Factory.
Once inside, there were three stations to get the celebration started.
The kiddos estimated how many nerds were in their box, then counted to find out how many there actually were.
Next up was candy sink or float. Most candy sinks because of the sugar content, but Kit-Kat and 3 Musketeers both float because they have so much air inside.
We also had a writing station with the prompt “Would you rather…ride the class elevator, swim in the chocolate river, eat an everlasting gobstopper or be sent by television?” Writing is more fun with candy, right?
The kiddos also had some time to read by the chocolate river, which they LOVED!
Next up were the games!
Pixie stick drop was first…we did a relay race where the kiddos ran, dropped a Pixie stick into a skinny vase, and then ran back to tag the next teammate.
Our second game was Life Saver pass. I gave each kiddo a dowel rod and they stood in a circle. I placed a Life Saver on one student’s stick and they passed with Life Saver around the circle using only the sticks…no hands! (Imagine the pass the hula hoop game, but with a Life Saver) As the Life Saver went around, I added more Life Savers to the circle so there were about 5 being passed at once.
Finally, we had cupcakes and “Fizzy Lifting Drink” (aka Sprite) and watched about 20 minutes of the movie.
It was an AMAZING afternoon! We had a blast and included some great content in our celebration – so much better than just showing the movie!
I’d love to hear how you celebrate reading in your classroom!