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Canadian Agriculture at a Glance Teacher's Kit > Lesson plans

Lesson: Tapping the Manitoba maple - a Prairie cottage industry

View the article (PDF)
Curriculum connections
Notes to teacher
Teaching and learning strategies
Assessment/evaluation strategies
Accommodation and enrichment strategies
Links to other activities
Suggestions for further research


This activity looks at tapping Manitoba maple trees for their sap in Saskatchewan and Manitoba in order to make maple syrup.

Curriculum connections


  • demonstrates an understanding of the diversity of agricultural endeavours in Canada.

Family Studies/Home Economics

  • identifies food supply and production industries in Canada.


  • describes and explains some of the uses of plant extracts in food and therapeutic products.

Notes to teacher

In this unit, which corresponds to the chapter "Farm Profiles" in the book, activities can be done co-operatively as a group. Students can be divided into groups of "experts" to learn about one of the farms profiled; they can then teach the rest of the class about their topic. (PDF).

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Students read the article "Tapping the Manitoba maple - a Prairie cottage industry" on pages 93 to 96 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance. (PDF)
  2. Students answer the following questions while reading the article:
    1. What maple tree is traditionally tapped for maple syrup?
    2. When were the first Manitoba maples tapped?
    3. Is there a difference in flavour between Manitoba maple syrup and the traditional sugar maple syrup? What is it?
    4. What factors affect how much sap is needed to make syrup?
    5. Where in the Prairies is the Manitoba maple found?
    6. What are the major regions in which Manitoba maples are being tapped?
    7. Which provinces produce traditional maple syrup? How much is made each year? How much maple syrup does Canada export?
  3. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Assess answers to questions for accuracy and completion.
  2. Assess glossaries for accuracy and completion.

Accommodation and enrichment strategies

  1. Some students may require assistance in order to complete written work.
  2. Students with special needs may work with a partner to complete a task.
  3. Templates for note-taking should be provided to students with special needs.
  4. Main ideas and/or new information should be mapped out and organized to meet the needs of all students.
  5. Wherever possible, vocabulary lists should be provided with a discussion of context clues and related vocabulary.
  6. For enrichment, students can perform a taste test of syrup from sugar maples and Manitoba maple syrup.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can investigate other non-traditional crops in their region of the country.
  • Students can use 2001 Census of Agriculture data in E-STAT for data analysis, graphing and mapping activities for specific geographic areas of local interest.

Please send comments or examples of how you used this lesson in your class to Learning Resources.

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