Into the Marsh

A Grower’s Work is Never Done

Students become familiar with the seasonal tasks of the cranberry grower.

Lesson Overview

What are the seasonal chores of the cranberry grower?

In this lesson, students begin to learn about the seasonal work of the cranberry marsh. They learn that farming cranberries is a year-long process that requires diligence and attention to natural cycles. The lesson is set in a fictitious context: A grower’s loose leaf yearly planning file has been tossed about in the wind, and students will help pull together and organize the yearly to-do items into seasonal folders. To be successful, students must examine, analyze, and put into seasonal categories some of the primary tasks of a grower. Next, students attend to the technology that helps modern growers complete their work, matching tools to the tasks. By taking on this role of grower’s helper, students begin to see the complexity of a cranberry marsh and the grower’s work. This is a first step toward developing an  appreciation of, and a connection to, cranberry farming (specifically) and agriculture (in general). In addition, students glimpse the intersection of the natural world and the human endeavor of farming. This gives them an opportunity to connect their curriculum (“book knowledge”) to real-world applications and implications.


Timing/Structure: As written, this lesson may take longer than a typical, 45-minute classroom session. It will likely take up to 60 minutes. Consider breaking between Parts 1 and 2 if necessary. An alternative approach to this lesson is to plan on using structured classroom time only for the introductions to, and final discussions of, Parts 1 and 2. Student pairs can work independently at their computer station over a day or two to complete their sorting tasks, ordering the calendar (Part 1) and matching tools to tasks (Part 2).