Maple Syrup

This program is ONLY AVAILABLE February 19th, 2019 - April 5th, 2019.  Schools are chosen on a rotating basis.

The maple syrup program at Forest Valley is offered during the early spring when the ground is starting to thaw and the maple sap is flowing.  Classes who are participating in the maple syrup programming have the opportunity to explore, investigate and take part in this unique Canadian experience.   This is a cross-curricular program which addresses components of STEM, Eco-literacy and Aboriginal Education.

In Grade 5 Maple syrup as a study of….

Properties & Changes in Matter (There are three states of matter, matter that changes state is still the same matter.) Where might you notice matter changing state in the production of maple syrup?

  • Physical changes: freezing sap at night, boiling sap – water evaporates, water condenses on sugar shack ceiling, sap to syrup, syrup to candy.
  • Chemical changes: log to ashes, sunlight to energy, burnt candy - if you forget it on the stove J
  • Appropriate vocabulary: mass, volume, properties, matter, physical/reversible changes, chemical irreversible changes.
  • Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.

Conservation of Energy & Resources (Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can be transformed.) How is energy transformed or stored in the production of maple syrup?

  • Transformation of energy from the sun through photosynthesis to chemical energy (sugar) stored in the tree.
  • Days above freezing temperatures with nights below freezing temperatures allow for the movement of sap.
  • Human energy is used to tap the trees and collect sap.
  • Chemical energy is used during combustion to heat the sap in the evaporator.
  • The evaporator (flue and flat pan) is specifically designed to allow maximum transfer of heat energy from fire to sap.
  • The sugar shack offers energy conservation as it protects the evaporator from weather conditions.

First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada
How might First Nation Peoples’ knowledge have impacted  European communities in New France and Early Canada?
How might your experience of making maple syrup compare to that of a First Nations person? 


  • First Nation Peoples showed European communities how to make maple syrup/sugar. 
  • The sugar was a valuable resource for settlers in a time when sugar was scarce and/or expensively imported from the West Indies
  • First Nation Peoples made the first taps out of wood and birch bark baskets to collect sap.
  • Deer antlers were used to move hot rocks from a fire to a hollowed out log filled with sap to boil it down to a sugar candy.