In a scene in the book that we’d been reading in their class, the main character, a young boy who gets bullied by another child each time that he ventures out to the neighborhood playground chats with his father while his father works in their garden. The boy sits above his dad, resting on a bough of a maple tree in their yard.
Reading that passage aloud in class led to questions about what maple trees look like. In the course of answering those questions, we mentioned that, in some parts of the northeastern United States and Canada, the sap of one type of maple tree is harvested and cooked into a syrup – maple syrup. A few of the students seemed incredulous, so we resolved to bring evidence that, yes, people really did pour concentrated tree sap on their pancakes and waffles and that it tasted GREAT!
The next week (last Sunday), we brought silver dollar pancakes and maple syrup for everyone to try and awarded bottles of maple syrup to the students with the best comprehension scores. Above: VivianL and EdgarW (second-highest and highest, respectively, comprehension homework scorers) holding the bottles of maple syrup that they won.