Student Handout: Bare Bones in the Backwoods

Critical Thinking Questions
Each question below is to be completed after its corresponding multiple choice quiz question. That is, first answer question 1 in the interactive quiz and then answer question 1 on this sheet, and so on.

1 a) Besides the ability of domestic birds to eat kitchen scraps and other reasons given here, name three other characteristics that a bird must have to make it convenient for settlers to keep it for eggs. Hint: Think about the behaviour of these birds compared to wild birds.
b) Name another farm animal that also ate lots of kitchen scraps.

2 a) Cats were not eaten by settlers but were very important in terms of food and nutrition. Explain why.
b) What can the shape of cat teeth tell us about their diets? Describe human teeth and our diets in comparison.

3 a) Why would settlers bother to extract marrow from cracked bones?
b) Name three methods used by settlers to preserve the meat of domestic or wild animals after butchering.

4 a) Certain religions require people to periodically or completely abstain from eating certain foods such as meat. List one such food and the associated religion(s).
b) Give three reasons why some settlers might have avoided certain foods. Hint: Consider wild meat, milk products or certain wild plants.

5 a) List three other wild animals that settlers hunted. Note that all of the animals eaten by settlers were herbivores or omnivores. People of European background usually don’t eat meat of carnivores because they think it tastes too strong. Native people in Canada however, did eat the meat of carnivores such as bear and wolverine. Some people still do today. Whether a person eats carnivores is a matter of personal and cultural preference.
b) Besides these small mammals, and large mammals such as moose, deer and elk, what other sources of wild animal protein would have been available to early settlers?
c) Give two reasons why settlers did not simply rely on resources from the wild year-round.

6 a) Give two reasons why settlers ate pig’s feet, and why most Canadians today generally don’t.
b) Name two other animal-based foods that are eaten by some people in the world but which Canadians avoid. Speculate as to why.

7 a) For each gender, name two different tasks typically associated with women and men on a settlement farm.
b) Are there any physical reasons for this division of labour? That is, were there farm tasks that men and women are biologically incapable of?
c) Name five tasks that children could do on the farm.

8 a) Do you think hunting was more or less important after several years on the frontier, compared to the time of first arrival for settlers? Why?
b) Besides hunting, list five other food-related dangers that settlers faced. Hint: Consider the hazards of working in close contact with animals, working outdoors, working with heavy objects, etc.

9 a) Give two reasons why settlers were not vegetarians (who didn’t eat meat) or vegans (who didn’t eat any animal-related products). Hint: Think about reasons people choose this lifestyle today.
b) Give two reasons why settlers had to worry about the quality of their diet.

10 a) Why might this bone have been cut?
b) Livestock were very important to settlers. List three threats to pioneer livestock. Hint: Many of these threats still exist today.


Suzanne Needs, Treena Hein
Rory MacKay, Betty Biesenthal
1800 - 1950
Ontario, CANADA
© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

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