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Pancake Day

Social Studies Lesson
for Pancake Day

The students will explore how making butter has changed over time.


  • A link to the following web site Making Butter

  • Baby food jars (one per student or pair of students)

  • Cream (enough to place 1 tablespoon in each jar)

  • Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola or Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle 



  1. Share information with the students from the above web site on the process of butter making.  If desired, also share the sections of Pancakes for Breakfast and/or Pancakes, Pancakes! which show the butter being churned.  Lead to a discussion on how we now have machines which can produce butter, but before the machines were invented, people had to do this work by hand.

  2. Pass out the baby food jars with the cream inside of them.  Have the students shake the jars until they have formed a small amount of butter.

  3. When they have completed "churning their butter", have a discussion on how much easier machines have made our lives. Brainstorm machines which have made our daily lives easier.


Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Make a pancake recipe which originates from a different part of the world.  For example, make German Potato Pancakes or thin French Crepes.  Locate that country on a map and share some information about its culture.

  2. Locate on maps the states which produce maple syrup.

  3. Share the Native American Legend of how Maple Syrup was discovered.  Use one of the following links: http://www.massmaple.org/history.html, or http://www.members.iquest.net/~childers/maple/story.html



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