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Naturally Educational » 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Home Arts, Summer, Taste » Blackberry Jammin’

Blackberry Jammin’

Have you been enjoying the summer? I cannot believe it is almost fall!

We were able to join the tot cooking classes at Garden of Eve this summer and made blackberry jam. I love the whole fields-to-table experience as it gives the kids an idea of where we get our food. It is also a wonderful insight into the how people lived in a time before supermarkets–or refrigeration.

The kids were able to:

1. Pick the blackberries.

The kids learned that the red ones are not raspberries–they are unripe blackberries! Stick to picking the black ones!

Even the baby got in on the blackberry picking, which also meant mostly blackberry munching.

2. Wash and dry the berries

3. Meanwhile, sterilize glass jars in boiling water

4. Crush the berries in a bowl (a whole lot of fun!)

5. Add mixture to a pot and pour in pectin according to the recipe

6. Bring to a quick boil and stir

7. Add sugar according to the recipe and bring to a boil again

8. Ladle jam mixture into the sterilized glass jars.

Since we do not keep the jams for a long time, we did not process them in a Boiling Water Canner.

Educational Connections

  • Mathematics: Measure out the ingredients.
  • History and Culture: Why did people in earlier eras can fruits?
  • Science: What makes berries sweet? What is pectin and why is it important in making jam? Which fruits are highest in natural pectin? Why do we boil the jars?
  • Ecology: In what months are different berries in season in your area? What other animals eat the berries? What is the difference between cultivated and wild berries? (Remind children to never eat berries without confirming with an adult that the berries are safe to eat.)
  • Colors: Even young toddlers will enjoy identifying which berries are ripe and which are not yet ready based on the color.
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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Home Arts, Summer, Taste · Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to "Blackberry Jammin’"

  1. erin martins says:

    I’d love to use this activity with my class. We are doing a unit on the color purple and this would be a new cooking activity for them. the link to the recipe isn’t working. Can you email it to me please!
    I love your site!