Learning with Maple

September 2, 2021

We are excited to announce the debut of our At School webpage! Here you can find many ways to engage kids, both big and little, with the art, science, history, and math of maple-syrup making!

child pouring sap

Whether you teach in a traditional classroom, a non-traditional classroom, at home, outside, or just want to learn more about sugaring, we have something exciting for you! We have just released the At School section of our website, which includes curriculum of all varieties, for learners of all ages.

The website contains several sections to highlight the many different ways you can learn about maple. Firstly, there are resources developed by us here at the Vermont Evaporator Company. We have curriculum and worksheets that pair with our flagship Sapling Evaporator, infographics, and blog posts that we think would be useful in any kind of classroom maple discussion. Along with this, we’ve included resources from all over maple country. We aren’t the first to use maple sugaring as a learning tool, so we wanted to highlight some others who do a fantastic job! There are even resources here for educators and adults that we found interesting and useful.

Our curriculum was designed to pair with our flagship Sapling Evaporator. It is a great way for kids to record their observations of the evaporating process. There are different observation sheets and questions for the Little Kids, Big Kids, and Biggest Kids, K-12. Our curriculum focuses solely on making observations during the sugaring process. We then recommend other resources to round out your maple lesson plan.

As Vermont Evaporator Company’s resident scientist, (as well as all things communication, marketing, and first alternate box packer) Nikki Whelley can attest to the importance of taking and making good observations. She insisted that we include a “how are you feeling today” to every observation worksheet. “It’s important to remember that when we aren’t feeling our best, our observations may be different than when we are well rested and ready to go,” says Nikki. We thought that by adding the question to the worksheets, we could not only enhance the way you observe maple syrup making, but enhance an opportunity for self observation/reflection as well. And who can’t do with a little practice in self-observation?!

We’d also like to call your attention to our Blog, which you are reading right now! We post articles weekly that focus on many things, from maple news, maple recipes, and tips for sugaring, to book reviews and educational suggestions. We update our list of kids books about maple as we read them, and when schools went remote due to COVID in 2020, we did a Maple School series to help parents take their kids outside to learn.

child tapping treeTo supplement our new curriculum, we’ve gone through our list of  kids books and broken them down into age groups to pair with our curriculum. The books cover different aspects of maple, from the Native American history of maple syrup, to the modern process of evaporating, to being big enough to drive the tractor this year, to the ever difficult process of waiting for sugaring season!

We’ve also included Vermont Evaporator Company infographics to help support all styles of learning. We all learn in different ways, and we embrace that with visual guides to learning about maple. From measuring cord wood, to identifying trees, to how sap flows in the Sapling Evaporator Pan, the infographics are useful for us, our customers, and we are hopeful that they will be useful to you!

Along with this, we scoured the internet to find the best maple curriculum and resources we could find. Our resources cover the history, math, science, and art of maple syrup making. We are hoping to be a one stop shop for everything maple curriculum!

As with any new endeavor, we are also learning as we go. So, please, if you have any suggestions for improving our curriculum, or other resources we could/should include in our list, please email us at info@vermontevaporator.com. We also encourage you to share your experiences of how teaching about maple went in your classroom. We love hearing from sugarmakers! Hopefully this will be a useful tool for customers and non-customers alike. We think learning with maple presents a wonderful opportunity, and want to make it easy for anyone to take advantage of it!