Strawberry Bread

Culture Engineering Science
Time 1 hour
Age 7 & up
Group Size 4 or more
Tags Cooking, Native Americans, Recipe,   more...
Thanksgiving Wampanoag

Enjoy the fruits of the season!

Strawberries are an important (and delicious!) part of the summer harvest for the Wampanoag Tribal Nation. This activity introduces children to a recipe used by Native Americans in Massachusetts and across North America.


Gather the materials and thaw the strawberries ahead of time. Follow the directions from the Cupcake Science activity for tips on preparation. If you would prefer a simpler activity, you can just bake a loaf of strawberry bread using the recipe included inthe “Make it Better” step, then let kids sample the bread. If students will not be inventing their own recipes, you will not need all of the materials listed.

Strawberry Bread

Suggested Materials

  • Cupcake tins
  • Small plastic bowls
  • Measuring cups (especially 1/8 cup)
  • Plastic spoons
  • Cornmeal (1 bag)
  • Egg beaters (1 quart)
  • Flour (1 bag)
  • Milk (1/2 gallon)
  • Baking powder (1 box)
  • Frozen strawberries (2 bags)
  • Salt
  • Corn oil
  • Butter or non-stick cooking spray
  • Large cups (50)
  • Toothpicks
  • An oven or toaster ovens
  • Foil cupcake baking cups (optional – only if using toaster oven)

Make it Matter

Opening Discussion

Ask your students if they have ever made bread before. What different kinds of bread are there? What are their favorite kinds? Refer to the “Strawberry Thanksgiving” story from the Wampanoag Summer Thanksgiving Story activity. Have any of your students tried bread with strawberries in it? Tell them that today they will. Write on a chalkboard or piece of chart paper a list of the ingredients they’ll be using.

The Challenge

Invent a recipe for strawberry corn bread.


Make it Happen

Doing the Activity

  1. Separate children into teams of 3. Distribute materials so that 2 teams are sharing a set of ingredients. Suggest to children that they first measure the dry ingredients into a bowl, and then add the wet ingredients. They will measure everything in spoonfuls, or with measuring spoons. There is 1 rule for the ingredients—they must use exactly 1/8 cup of cornmeal and 1/8 cup of flour. Allow children to use whatever proportions of the other ingredients they think are appropriate, but show them a cupcake tin and let them know that however much batter they make, they’ll only use ¼ cup of it to make their bread with. While they are mixing their recipes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the cupcake tins with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Once all teams have made batter and are ready to bake, have them pour their batter into the cupcake tins (if using a large oven), making sure that each team measures out ¼ cup of batter to place in their baking cups. If using toaster ovens, have teams simply scoop 1/4 cup of batter into the foil tins. Place all of the teams’ strawberry breads into the oven at the same time. Bake the breads for approximately 20–25 minutes. Some ovens may take a little longer, some a little less time—keep an eye on them! Use toothpicks to test whether the breads are done or not—poke a toothpick into a bread that looks like it may be done and pull the toothpick out. If it comes out of the bread dry, the bread is done. If batter sticks to the toothpick, it needs to bake a little longer.

Make it Click

Let’s Talk About It

When the bread is baking, gather students together to talk about their process. How did they decide how much of each of the ingredients to use? How do they think their bread will taste? Have them check on their bread every few minutes by looking through the oven glass. What do they notice after 5 minutes? How about after 10 minutes?


Make it Better

Build On What They Talked About

When the breads are done, give students a chance to sample each others. What do they notice about how the breads turned out? How might their ingredient amounts have contributed to the results?

As a next step, you could follow the instructions for all 4 of the Cupcake Science activities and give students a chance to experiment with their recipes, survey their classmates, etc. Or, use the following modern Native American recipe and make a whole loaf of strawberry bread in the way that some Wampanoag children and adults do today:

Strawberry Corn Bread


1 cup cornmeal
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
4 tsp. baking powder
1 pint thawed frozen strawberries
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 cup corn oil


Sift dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, milk and oil. Stir this liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the strawberries and mix well. Pour into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20–25 minutes.


  • If you would prefer, you can reverse the order of the activities and introduce the recipe above, have students sample the bread and then invent their own recipes.
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