Maple Syrup – Advertising Angle

What was your driving question?

How can we create a label for Grandpa Henry that is more engaging?

Grades Involved

Grades 4 & 5

How did this project connect to your local or regional community?

Our social studies unit was on maple syrup and a family from our school (student in K and student in 2) has a grandfather in Massachusetts with a Maple Farm. Additionally, we worked with two different local graphic designers.

What PBE principles were highlighted in this project?

Learner-Centered & Design Thinking

Project Description

We did a Zoom in the fall where we interviewed Grandpa Henry and he showed us pictures and videos of his Maple Farm. His local family also shared with us some tubing and a bottle of syrup. Students commented the label was drab and that was the nexus of our project to create a new label. We worked with two different local graphic designers to help with inspiration and finalizing on the computer. We worked with our art teacher as students made 2-8 different drafts of their idea and some had several ideas.



How did this positively impact the community? How was it shared?

The two grandsons came to present to the 4-5 class about how they help on the farm, and the 2nd grader, in particular, was able to be a leader and his confidence grew as he struggles wit literacy and math but was a strong presenter orally on a personal topic. Ultimately students will each get their own bottle of syrup from Henry and they’ll be able to put the label they designed onto it, so each student will have a different-looking bottle.

Reflection: What was the biggest challenge? What was the most rewarding aspect of this project?

It was hard to edit the images myself – but using a colored scanner and canva worked out in the end and I ended up not needing to download something like photoshop which is quite expensive! Ultimately Grandpa Henry shared that he enjoyed the labels and the project but was unclear about if he would utilize the possible labels for his own bottling/ labeling in the future, so the project may have been more beneficial for students than for him.

Any advice for a teacher or student that is implementing a PBE project for the first time?

So many students love art and think they might want to grow up to be an artist so exposure to something like graphic design, marketing, advertising, etc is a great way for them to see a different potential career path.

Take your time // follow through – we started our maple syrup project in early October and the labeled maple syrup bottles are only just now going home with students in June! We did come back to the topic here and there in art so the project felt continuous but sometimes students would share they thought it was done, but in the end, they were glad to get to a final product even though it took longer than expected!