View single post by susansweet
 Posted: Sat Apr 7th, 2007 03:53 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420

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Patty you hit on exactly how to teach history.  One of the best things I did , not really as a teacher but as a  substitute for the teacher who was ill was spent the night with fifth graders on a 19th tall ship that was standing in for the 2 years Before the Mast Pilgrim.  It is 1834 We are sailing with Richard Henry Dana to Alta California.  The ship was tired up to the dock at the Marine Lab at Dana Point.  We never left the dock all night. 24 hours before the Mast.  The kids loved it and learned so much about what it was like.

My fifth grade friend also did a colonial day and a  Oregon Trail day.  Each student research a craftsman of the colonial times and reported on it , including making something .  These were so successful.  Anything hands on.  In first grade I did Thanksgiving feast and trust me it wasn't paper hats with buckles and big white collars.  No buckles no colors.  I had tons of material from Plimonth Plantation. 

I would hope our 8th grade does more than what I saw once on their website.  It listed showing the mini series Blue and Grey which I thought was horrible. 

There were so many kids out at Prado this past week end with questions their teachers gave them to ask all of us.   We got quite a discussion growing about the greatest cavalry officer .  The kids were standing their with their mouths hanging open at the passion the discussion was taking .  They ended up writing all the answers down.

One dad ask us to explain why study history.  We all said at one time We study the past to learn about the future.   Nobody had discussed it before we said it all at the same time. 

I really think the more hands on you make things for children the better the learning .  especially young children.  Sadly money is not there for field trips as it should be.  Buses are expensive now with the high rate of gas , etc. 

Then you also have to convince principals that assemblies with a soldier etc is worthwhile .  Most schools also don't allow weapons of any kind of campus with the zero tolerance laws. 

I had a knight from Medieval times once to talk to my first graders.  They sure learned how heavy a broad sword was .  None of them could lift it. 

Oh that was the other fifth grade field trip Renaissance Faire on School Day.  It has been cut back because of expense though from the faire end.  Use to be Workshop in the Woods and went on daily during the week with many activities.  I had former students come by and tell me all they learned for many years. 

sigh I don't know the answers but we must somehow get kids interested in the past history and perserve the sites for them in the future.

Susan retired but still when the bell rings starts teaching . 

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