“Why are the children in this class sitting on their desks wearing old-fashioned clothing?” a visitor to Peninsula Heritage School might have asked this past Monday.
Fifth Grade teacher Mrs Kimarie Lynn, her associate teacher Mrs. Terry Metzenbaum, Language Arts Enrichment teacher Mrs. Kat Banales, and any of the Fifth Graders will quickly explain that they were crossing the Atlantic Ocean on board the sailing ship Mayflower. This “voyage” is only one part of the week’s simulation of colonial life experienced by this class as they study early American history.
Since the Mayflower had to carry more passengers than originally planned, the Pilgrims were very crowded onboard. The children learn that they will have to endure terrible storms and 65 days of sailing before the ship, blown off course, lands far to the north of their original destination. This vessel also made several false starts before actually beginning its voyage, so the freezing temperatures and snows of December greet the Pilgrims as they arrive in North America.
Before the children leave the ship (their desks) they create a Mayflower Compact with rules to govern themselves after they disembark. Each student signs the document with the name of an actual Mayflower voyager, using a quill pen and sealing it with wax and a stamp.
Colonial Week continues each day for these students dressed in colonial attire, including amazing colonial science, colonial PE, even colonial Spanish, and concluding on Friday with the Trade Fair and a Colonial Breakfast. These PHS Fifth Graders are fortunate to have lived, felt, thought, and experienced far more than can be learned from the pages of a history book!
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