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Maple, Sugarbush and the Anishinaabe

Based on Ininatig's Gift of Sugar The Tradition of Native Sugarmaking by Laura Wittstock

Directions: Use the links (underlined words) provided to find the answers to the questions.
Make a Bookmark or Favorite of the hunt to make it easier to return for the next question.

1. The book opens with the Anishinabe story about maple trees. Here is a second legend about Maple trees and sugaring.
What is the lesson it teaches?



2. Porky begins to plan the sugarbush in the summer. That is a good time to find maple trees because they have their leaves.
Write four ways to identify sugar maple trees
. Sugar Maple and sugaring facts

a. Leaf


b. Seed


c. Bark


d.(You decide)


3. Consider the map which shows the natural range of the Sugar Maple.
Do you live within its natural range?


4. People may mark the passing of time through the changing of the moon.
Which month's moon is called the Sap Moon?


TAI (Think about it) Moons are named after important events in the month.
What would you call this month's moon?


5. Ice on the lake turning black is one sign of spring. Another sign is the woodpeckers hunting for insects in the trees.
What are two early signs of spring in your community?



6. Write three facts about the Anishinabe.



7. Birchbark is mentioned in the book several times.
Name three ways people use birch trees.


8. Early explorers wrote about the Indians having three types of maple sugar. Scan down the text.
Read the descriptions. Which type(s) were made by the people in this book?


9. Gah-bay-bi-nayss described another sugarbush. Write 2 similarities with the book.



10. The families in the story come from several areas in Minnesota.

What does the word "minnesota" mean?


11. What impact has air pollution had on sugar maple trees?


Who is hurt by this?



1. Do some Internet digging.
What do the native people of your region call the moon of your birth month?


2. Describe an event where your family and friends come together.
How do you feel about this gathering?

3. Complete the Sugarbush math project.

4. Is this book an example of narrative, persuasive or informative writing? Explain.

Finished? Excellent! Harness these resources to learn more


An Ojibwe/Metis Account of Maple Sugaring Explore Outstanding Native Americans Hunt
Explore NativeTech The Birchbark House Activities
When Everybody Called Me Gah-bay-bi-nayss Children of the Longhouse Activities
Sugarbush Growing up Ojibwe The Winter People - literature activity
National Museum of the American Indian Native American Cultures
Maple Sugaring Test your Native IQ
American Indians an index of sites Destroying the Native American Cultures - LOC
Maple Syrup, A Taste of Nature Case Study: Life of a Maple Tree
Learn about Trees Internet Activity

Identifying PA. Trees

1. The Life of a Sugar Maple Tree Luzadis, V.A. and E.R. Gossett. 1996. Sugar Maple. Pages 157-166. Forest Trees of the Northeast, edited by James P. Lassoie, Valerie A. Luzadis, and Deborah W. Grover. Cooperative Extension Bulletin 235. Cornell Media Services.

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Developed & posted 11/2007 Cynthia J. O'Hora Released to public domain for not for profit use.
Updated 3/21/2022

tree iconSave a tree - use a digital answer format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid fancy ones like broad, dear). Or perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon