For Teachers

WRITING ACTIVITES to use with MOLASSES MAN

by Kathy L. May

Family Food Think of a time when you cooked, prepared or shared food with one or more members of your family or any group of people, indoors or out, and write about it.   It could be something as simple as making a sandwich with your mother, eating ice cream with friends, grilling hamburgers with your father, making and eating S’mores at a camp, a special birthday or holiday dinner, or going to a big family reunion. Describe the food you had and how it looked and tasted. Who was involved and what did they do? How was it done? Where were you? When did it occur and in what order? Why was it done like this? How did you feel?

Family Work Think of a time when you worked outdoors with your family or another group of people and write about it– mowing the lawn, raking leaves, planting flowers or vegetables, shoveling snow, cleaning out the garage, painting a dog house, washing the car, or any work activity. Who did what parts of the work? Did everyone contribute? What kind of weather was it? Did it seem like work or fun or a little of both? Is this a regular activity? How did it feel to work outdoors with this group?

Back in the old days Talk to an older person in your family or community about something they remember from the past that people don’t do much anymore. Ask them to describe how it was done, what they remember most, what they liked, what they didn’t like, how they feel about it now, etc.   This could be something to do with food, such as how they got meat, milk, eggs or butter; picking berries; baking bread; having a garden; canning and preserving, etc. Or you could ask them about transportation in the past, work, school, or what they did for fun. Take notes as the person talks. Ask questions. What have you learned? Write about it.

Steps in a process   Find someone doing something that’s unfamiliar to you and watch how they do it. Really study and observe the process and spend some time just looking. It could be someone sewing or knitting, changing the oil in a car, playing a game, building something, anything at all. Write down the steps and describe the process in detail. Take notes. What happens first, second, third, etc. Ask questions. Can you describe the activity so that another person could actually duplicate it from your directions?