Early Pioneer Foods
To introduce students to the different foods eaten by Early Cleveland
settlers and the methods of preserving and preparing the foods.
- What foods were available for early Cleveland settlers?
- How did they prepare the meals? What were their methods of
cooking? Utensils used? Materials available?
- How did they preserve fresh foods for future use during the
- Survey the class for their favorite foods. Discuss ingredients
and recipes for some of their foods. How do they get the ingredients?
Where do they store the perishable ingredients? How often do they
have to shop for their foods?
- Question students for ideas of what they think early settlers
ate for food? What might a child in 1796 say is their favorite
food? How did they prepare their foods?
- Read to the students the short story "A Meal in the New
Cabin" and discuss. What foods did the early pioneers eat?
What foods were they able to get from the countryside? What different
ways did they preserve their foods? What meats were available
to them? How did they get them?
- Ask students to compare and contrast the food early Cleveland
settlers ate to foods people eat today. How is food preparation
and preservation different today?
Group Activity: Divide students into groups and provide
a poster paper for each group. Ask them to categorize pioneer
foods into the basic food groups. What foods that we eat today
would be categorized into the same food groups? Have each group
design a poster that shows the categories they decided upon and
what foods of 1796 and the present are represented.
- Distribute Recipe Handout with students. As a class activity
you may choose to prepare johnny cakes in class. Write the recipe
on the board and have students recite ingredients as they are
prepared. Make butter in class. While students are "churning"
the mixture, have the class recite the chant for churning butter.
Or you may have students volunteer to prepare recipes at home
and bring them to class to share.
- Distribute grade appropriate puzzle or wordsearch activity
for students to complete.