Wolf Ridge

Maple Trees and the Science Behind Maple Syrup

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What’s the science behind maple trees and making maple syrup? This lesson describes the process of making maple syrup as well as the tree physiology that makes it possible. After viewing the story video or reading a short story, students are complete a series of math problems based on making and selling maple syrup. Finally, a tree identification activity helps students identify maple trees near them.


teacher/parent materials

student materials

Concepts and Outcomes


  • Maple trees play an important role in several different ecosystems – food, forest, and money.
  • The basic principles of maple syruping have remained the same since its discovery; gather and concentrate.
  • Math can be used to solve real-world problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Maple Syruping lesson students will be able to:

  • Explain the syruping process from raw sap to the end product of maple syrup.
  • Solve real-world math problems involving a maple syrup business.
  • Identify Maple trees based on twig color, bud shape, and leaf attachment pattern.

MN Academic Standards Addressed

5th Grade Mathematics Standards,


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