The maple syrup lesson

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For elementary school kids who can’t go to elementary school. My first lesson plan for my son. 🙂

Requires

  • internet
  • stove and pot
  • snow
  • wooden or plastic open-top box
  • maple syrup

Where did maple syrup come from? How is it used socially? The lesson uses story, video, talk, heating and chilling to explore change over time, cultural meaning of a product, and change in natural substances – a little history, a little chemistry, a little fun and something to eat.

(1) Where does maple syrup come from?

Talk about trees and leaves. Can you recognize a maple tree? How?

Have you seen pictures of maple leaves? A symbol of Canada, right? Maple must be pretty important if we use it to represent the whole country.

Those trees grow right here in Quebec. Did you know Quebec produces about 75% of the maple syrup in the country? What’s that as a fraction? (3/4)

Do you know people who make maple syrup? There’s a lot around, here in the Eastern Townships. Some of them might be your family or friends. This is a product that touches our lives pretty closely eh?

(2) The origin of maple syrup: an Abenaki story

The first people to live around here were the Abenaki. They still do. If you follow the Masswippi River down to the Saint-Francois River past the Little Forks (what we call Lennoxville now), and keep following the Saint-Francois River almost all the way to the big Saint Lawrence, you get to the biggest Abenaki community, called Odanak. Once we can all go out again, we can visit the museum there, if you like.

Here’s a quick map I made of the watershed:

Picture1

The Abenaki also were the ones to learn that the sap in maple trees can be made into something that is ab-so-lute-ly DELICIOUS.

Let’s read the story.  Glooscap changes maple syrup

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