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Food Preservation MethodsIntroduction
With refrigeration and canning yet unknown, the colonial housewife depended
on other techniques to keep her food supplies edible and to provide variety
in the diet throughout the yearexpecially during the winter months. All
cooks learned several effective food preservation techniques.
In this lesson, students will learn about four food preservation methods used during the colonial perioddrying, salting, pickling, and jellying. They will work cooperatively to identify foods that are preserved in these ways, and create an illustrated booklet describing one type of food preservation.
- Directions for Making a 3/4 Booklet
- Scissors, computer paper, and art supplies (provided by the teacher)
- Food Preservation Methods Information Sheets
1. Have students view the slideshow. [NOTE: Use of the slideshow is by teacher discretion. We suggest previewing the slideshow before showing it to students. If you feel any of the images may be too strong for some students, skip the slideshow and proceed to lesson step #2.]
2. Divide students into groups of four. Within each group, assign each student
one method of food preservation (drying, salting, pickling, or jellying)
to research. Teachers who have access to computers or a computer lab can have
students do their reserach online, taking notes about the method and the types
of food that are preserved in that manner. [NOTE: If students do their own research,
the Food Preservation Methods
Information Sheets become a teacher reference for checking students' work.]
Give each student the top section of the pertinent page from the Food
Preservation Methods Information Sheets. [NOTE: Do not give students
the bottom portions of the sheets which list the types of food preserved with
each method. Students should, individually or in collaboration with group members,
brainstorm their own lists of appropriate foods.]
3. Have each student make a 3/4 booklet (see Directions for Making a 3/4 Booklet). The booklets should be constructed as follows:
- Front cover: title page that include the name of the food preservation method (drying, salting, pickling, or jellying)
- Inside front cover: illustration
- Front of flip-down page: types of foods preserved with the selected method
- Back of flip-down page and the space below it: Notes on the preservation method
4. Give each student a Food Preservation Rubric. Review the rubric with the class.
5. Within each group, have each student describe the assigned method of food
preservation to the rest of the group. Have students use their Food Preservation
Rubrics to grade one another's presentations.
Ask students to identify several modern food preservation techniques. Student responses may include methods such as canning, bottling, refrigeration, freezing, freeze-drying, vacuum-packing, or even irradiation. Discuss these modern methods, how they work, and why they were not available in the 1700s.
This lesson was written by Glenna Raper, middle school teacher, Davis, Oklahoma and Nicole Marsala, middle school teacher, Coral Springs, Florida.