Thursday, 3 August 2017

Maple Sapping Time

Maple Time

My sister Sonia has been maple sapping for five years or so.  Since she began this annual early spring project, I've wanted to include my students in the process, perhaps make some kind of hands-on lesson out of it. 

My students have seen Sonia out and about tapping trees and collecting sap, so they naturally wanted to share what they'd observed.  My nephew Jakobi has even helped Sonia, so of course he shared some long-winded stories.

Other Articles on Maple Sap

My sister Linda has posted several articles on Sonia's maple sapping on her blog which you can read here.   She also wrote an article on this topic for the Manitoba Cooperator.  The link here will take you to here blog and there you'll find the link to the Manitoba cooperator article.  Scroll down the the Crossroads section to page 29 to read it.

Maple Books

Each spring during maple sapping time, I dug out my books on maple sapping.  Sometimes I read one to my students but didn't do much more.  This year my planning is working out!My grade 1 & 2 students are just working on the social studies unit Canadian Communities.  One of the first topics in this unit is Aboriginal contributions and lad-de-da -- maple syrup!

We started our maple unit by reading and comparing the following books which are all set in different time periods:
  • Maple Moon by Conniebrummel Crook;
  • At Grandpa's Sugar Bush by Margaret Carney and  
  • A Day at the Sugar Bush by Megan Faulkner.  

Our Maple Projects

Next, we joined Sonia in every step of the process from drilling, to collecting the sap, to hauling wood scraps from for commercial carpenter shop, to finally cooking the sap into maple syrup.  We enjoyed several tasting sessions as we worked on this project: raw sap, hotdogs cooked in sap, maple butter on toast and waffles topped with whipped cream and maple syrup.

To commemorate this special event, we created a class book entitled Maple Sapping at Elm River Colony.  This book that outlines the entire process as well is the graphed results of our favourite maple treats.   We've added it to our class library where we can now boast of four maple sapping books. 

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