A Centering Maple Movement Activity for you and the kids!
Maple Farm to School Lesson
By Nora Scully (Former COMMON ROOTS Intern)
The March Farm to School Lesson was all about the sweetness of maple syrup.
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In preK and first grade classes the lesson began with a centering maple movement activity. Students practiced using their imaginations to picture themselves as maple trees growing and producing sap. This type of activity helps calm the bodies of preK and first grade students while getting them focused on what the lesson is going to be all about. In second through fourth grade classes, students participated in the storytelling of a maple syrup legend. This legend shares the discovery of maple syrup by Chief Woksis and his family. Similar to the opening activity for preK and first grade classes, this helps prepare students for the lesson in a fun way. A third activity that was seen in third through eighth grade classes was the Abenaki Moon Cycles. This activity introduced students to the practices of Vermont’s native Abenaki and how they used the moon cycles to create a natural calendar. The moon cycles were printed on paper and the students worked in groups to organize them in order based on the natural occurrences in each month and season.
All grades participated in making Maple Carrot Fritters. Fritters are described as a mixture of different ingredients, usually involving vegetables, that are covered in batter and then deep fried. These fritters pack in nutrients while also delivering a hint of maple syrup for sweetness. Students learned how to shred carrots using kid-friendly graters. This is an important culinary skill for students to learn and how to properly hold both the carrot and the grater to ensure safety. The colorful orange pigmentation of carrots shows us that they are rich in antioxidants and vitamin A. Vitamin A is a nutrient that is important for normal vision and the immune system. Students also learned how to make a chia seed “egg”. Chia seeds are edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family native to central and southern Mexico. They are rich in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Chia seeds can be used to make an egg alternative, which is great if you or a member of your family has an egg allergy. When water gets added to the chia seeds, they become a gel- it's like magic! Maple syrup is a natural sweetener, so there is no added sugar to this recipe. You can add maple syrup to homemade salad dressings, overnight oats, and so much more. Check out the Maple Carrot Fritters recipe below and give it a try!
For South Burlington residents, The South Burlington Food Shelf is a great resource to receive food and non-food products at no cost.