A Gathering of Days: Spring
A  WebQuest for Middle School or Junior High, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University 

“Although, in memory, sap runs fast the actual accumulation is drop by drop, and slow. Hardly any attended school; all help is needed that can be had to feed the fires and stir the kettles and join the speculation: will it soon turn sirup?

Tonight our father will stay at the camp to keep the fires going.”

--from A Gathering of Days Monday, March 21, 1831

In the very beginning of spring each year while the snow was still on the ground, Catherine’s family would collect sap from the maple trees surrounding their home to boil down into maple sugar. This was truly a community event. Your task is to research the maple tree and maple sugaring during the early 1800’s in New England.

1. You will preview the following websites to understand the process of creating maple sugar and maple syrup in New England during the early 1800’s:

2. You will create a series of events chain displaying the steps involved in collecting and processing maple sap into maple sugar. A series of event chain outlines the sequence of events. In this instance, it should start with maple sap and end with maple sugar.

3. Your series of events chain will have at least 8 steps in chronological order.

4. Each step must be clearly labeled.

5. Each step must be illustrated with either a hand-drawn picture or a computer graphic.

1. One of the most popular past-times the children participated in while sugaring was to make “sugar on the snow.” You will research what this sweet treat was and how it was made by reviewing the following websites:

2. You will also review the following websites for other foods created with maple products that Catherine and her family might have made with the maple syrup or sugar they harvested:

3. You will create one recipe card that details how to create “sugar on the snow” and one recipe card for another food (of your choice) made with maple sugar or syrup.

4. You will make either “sugar on the snow” or the other recipe you have chosen to share with the class. Be sure that the recipe you have chosen could have or would have been made in rural New Hampshire in the 1830’s!

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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.