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Objectives     Materials     Lesson Introduction     Lesson Text     Notes for Discussion     


bullet Learn where blueberries are grown in the U.S. and Canada
bullet Develop an appreciation for our food distribution system
bullet Reinforce map reading skills


Student Activities:
bullet Word Search downloaded and duplicated, one for each student
bullet Map Game  download and duplicated, one for each student
bullet Map Download download and duplicate this map for student exercises


bullet Does your family buy blueberries?
bullet In what season of the year do they buy fresh blueberries? (In summer the supply is most plentiful, but fresh North American blueberries are harvested April through October)
bullet Can anyone guess where blueberries are grown? Let's find out.



Did you know that about 300,000,000 pounds of blueberries travel from farms to millions of tables across the United States and around the world each year? We can enjoy fresh blueberries grown in the U.S. and Canada from April until October. July is the month that blueberries are in peak production so the government has proclaimed July Blueberry Month. (view information on Blueberry Month) Don't worry if you can't find fresh blueberries during the winter. You can find blueberries canned, dried or in the freezer case of your supermarket all year round.

Discuss each point on the chart below and ask students to complete the corresponding task.

Let's follow the map to the various regions to find out where blueberries grow. But first, locate your home on the map. Draw a star with a circle around it to symbolize a blueberry (*).


Blueberries have been growing in North America for a very long time--botanists guess about 13,000 years. When the colonists arrived, two varieties were found growing wild--the highbush and the lowbush. Today, the lowbush variety still grows wild in the state of Maine as well as in Eastern Canada. It is harvested mostly for use in baked goods and processed foods.

Find the state of Maine and the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on your map. Color them orange.
Thanks to agricultural research that began in the early part of this century, blueberries are now a cultivated crop. The wild highbush variety was domesticated and improved so that the bushes could be planted in fields and cared for by farmers. Today, cultivated blueberries can grow just about anywhere in the U.S. and Canada -- in the MIDWEST, the EAST, the NORTHWEST, and even in the SOUTH. In the MIDWEST, cultivated blueberries grow in Michigan and Indiana. In fact, on average, more than 40% of all cultivated blueberries grown in the U.S. come from this region. Find Michigan and Indiana on your map and color them blue.
In the EAST, New Jersey is the major blueberry-growing state. Find New Jersey and color it green.
Oregon and Washington in the NORTHWEST grow blueberries as well as the neighboring province of British Columbia. Color Oregon, Washington and British Columbia red
Cultivated blueberries can grow in warmer climates too, like Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. The blueberries that grow in the SOUTH are harvested in the Spring before it gets very hot. Find these states on your map and color them yellow.
Which blueberry growing area on your map is closest to where you live? You may find that some of the blueberries in your supermarket come from the area closest to you but some may come from farther away. Can you explain why? Draw a line from home to the closest blueberry-growing area. Have you had blueberries from there? You can find out where your blueberries come from by reading the label on the package, container or can.


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Copyright 2002 - U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council