The story takes place on Blueberry Hill in Maine.
What other places in the United States and Cana-
da are known for their blueberries? Create a blue
map. Talk about what makes those locations so
There are two families enjoying the blueberries
in the story—one human and one ursus (bear).
Why do bears eat blueberries? What else do they
include in their diet? Look at your blue map and
plot a bear graphic wherever bears are known to
inhabit. How many of these locations cross with
Sal’s mother wants the blueberries to can for win-
ter. How else can blueberries be preserved? What
might be added to blueberries to make them last
longer? Are there any advantages to setting aside
blueberries in the summer months during these
times when you can always buy blueberries at
the store? What would those advantages be?
Sal eats as many blueberries as she picks when
helping her mother. Think of ways that you might
have tried to motivate Sal to be a better blueber-
If you can find them, wild blueberries are free.
Give a price comparison of some of your favorite
blueberry dishes made with blueberries from the
store, assuming an average price of $2.50 per
pint versus the free wild blueberries.
them every single day unless you consume
a smaller amount. Cooking blueberries
calms the impact, but you still don’t want
to go overboard. Remember, dried blueberries have been used for centuries to treat
Montezuma’s revenge. And if it only takes
a few to calm that, you don’t want to enjoy
these berries so much that you are bound
up after wards.
Because of their New World and Northern habitats, the Bible mentions neither
blueberries nor their European cousin. But
as a fruit that bears seed, it was included
in the broad gift of God in Genesis and
fruit for food: “Look, I have given you
every seed-bearing plant on the surface of
the entire earth and every tree whose fruit
contains seed. This food will be for you”
(Genesis 1: 29, HCSB).
Looking more into the blueberry’s versatility, ease of preservation and health aspects,
it becomes obvious that God designed
the fruit to nourish our bodies while
tasting wonderful at the same time. One
cup serving contains, in addition to the
anthocyanin and fiber mentioned earlier,
one fourth of your daily requirement of
Vitamin C, five percent of B- 6, and small
amounts of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin A, plus trace amounts
of other vitamins. All this and it is virtually
The wild blueberry played a vital role in
American culture, particularly in the days
of colonization and expansion. In the summer months, anywhere near water and sandy, acidic soil, the hungry traveler was likely
to find blueberries. They grew natively and
abundantly, often acting as ground cover.
These same conditions, fostered in your
garden, could ensure a crop of blueberries
year after year. But be patient. It takes a full
three years before a blueberry bush yields
ripe blueberries and up to six before the
bush is completely established and healthy.
In the meantime you can enjoy the seasons
with the bush—flowers in spring, full leafy
greenery in the summer and bright red
To understand more of the nature and harvesting
of wild blueberries, how about using the picture
book, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
as the springboard for a unit study with your kids
this summer? ;