Eating Throughout the Year
with Catherine Hall
from A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos

A  WebQuest for Middle School or Junior High, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University 

Think about how often you eat each day. Is it three meals? Maybe some snacks? Chances are, when you are hungry there is ready to eat food available to you without you having to do much work. You might have to walk to the kitchen or roam the aisles of the grocery store, but that isn’t much work.

What if you had to make all that you eat from scratch? What if you could only eat what your family could produce by its own hands? Your eating habits would probably change, wouldn’t they? Because A Gathering of Days takes place in New Hampshire during the 1830’s, all that the characters ate had to be made from scratch from the materials produced on their farm. In this WebQuest, you will follow Catherine Hall and her meal preparations for herself and her family throughout all the seasons of the year.

In a group of four, each participant will choose a season of the year: spring, summer, fall, or winter. Each season will have a food-related task and project that must be completed by that participant. Your final product will be a group presentation that displays how food was produced and preserved throughout the year in a farmhouse like the one described in A Gathering of Days

1.      Each participant will choose a season:





2.      Each participant will complete the tasks concerning the season of the year they chose.

3.      All participants will gather their projects together for the group presentation.

4.      All participants will present their own materials during the group presentation being sure to clearly explain and describe their own contribution to the overall project.

5.      All participants will evaluate themselves and their team members for effective collaboration and completion of the project.

After completing the project and viewing the projects of your classmates, you now understand the amount of time and energy that went into food production for a rural American family in the Northeast during the 1830’s.  Catherine Hall and her family worked very hard for what they had and appreciated all that their own hands produced. So, the next time you run to the refrigerator or microwave for your after-school snack, be thankful for advances in technology and food production.

Chart and Graphic Organizer Rubric



For information regarding National Technology Standards met by this WebQuest, as well as additional resources to aid in your instruction of this unit.

This WebQuest was created by teachers participating in Missouri's Agriculture in the Classroom program at Missouri State University through a USDA grant.  The template on this site was adapted from a template from The WebQuest Page and the original was designed by Dr. Lyndon Irwin.  Assistance for this project was provided by Mrs. Barbara Irwin, M.S. and Mrs. Diane Olson, M.S.

Teachers are encouraged to adapt this lesson for classroom use only.  No part of this publication may be transmitted, stored, recorded or published in any form without written permission from Missouri Farm Bureau.

This page was developed by Samantha McMaster Warren, reviewed by Lyndon and the late Barbara Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau.

Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau.