Lesson 7: The Sugar Snow

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How are the pioneers dependent on the trees in their environment?

Facts and Definitions

  • A ladle is a large long-handled spoon with a cup-shaped bowl.
  • A bugle is a brass instrument like a small trumpet.
  • Petticoats are light, loose undergarments hanging from the shoulders or the waist, worn under a skirt or dress.
  • Glimpses are momentary or partial views.
  • Greedy is having or showing an intense and selfish desire for something.
  • A whetstone is a fine-grained stone used for sharpening cutting tools.
  • A sumac is a type of tree, shrub, or woody vine that has leaves turning to brilliant colors in the autumn, small flowers, and loose clusters of red or whitish berries.
  • Chaff is the outer part or husk of wheat, oat, or other grains.


  • Use word reference materials (e.g., dictionary, glossary) to confirm decoding skills, verify spelling, and extend meanings of words. (LA)
  • Use story structure and text organization to comprehend text. (LA)
  • Use oral and written language to present information in a sequenced, logical manner in order to support the following skills: discuss and sustain conversation on a topic, share information and ideas, recount or narrate, and share written and oral products in a variety of ways. (LA)


  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • baking powder
  • chopped walnuts
  • colored pencils or markers
  • dictionary
  • egg
  • flour
  • journal
  • maple syrup
  • measuring cup and spoons
  • rolled oats
  • scissors
  • shortening
  • square pan
  • vanilla


Ask your child what he learned about winter in the Big Woods. Tell your child that today he will learn about another way the pioneers were dependent on trees.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, journal
Today your child will read the chapter "The Sugar Snow" and then answer these questions.
  1. Do you think Laura was happy to see the new snow? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.
  2. What part of the tree does Pa say the sap is? Why do you think he calls it this?
    The blood of the tree. Answers will vary.
  3. Why did Pa call the snow a sugar snow?
    Snow at this time of year means that people can make more sugar from the maple trees.
  4. What does Grandpa do with the maple sugar?
    He uses it for sugar so that he doesn't have to buy table sugar.
  5. Based on the chapters you have read thus far, how are the people in the book dependent on the trees?
    They use them to build their homes, use them to make things, they dry meat in them, use the wood for fire, and make maple sugar from sap.