Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
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.
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.
Invent a recipe for strawberry corn bread.
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?
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 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.