Elementary Students Gain Hands On Experience In Colonial Times Unit

Community member, Sue Harper, showed off one of her many colonial artifacts to Lincoln Elementary School kindergartners who are learning all about colonial times in class. Submitted Image.

JAMESTOWN – Lincoln Elementary School kindergartners recently stepped back in time to learn more about colonial times.

Community member Sue Harper brought a number of artifacts she has collected that represent what colonial people did as tradespeople during that time period.

Harper is the mother of kindergarten teacher, Molly Anderson, who invites Harper in each year part of the school’s colonial unit.

“This is a bellow,” said Harper to a group of kindergarten students. “It blows air. The blacksmith would have a big one and probably operated it with his foot. It would blow air on his fire and help make his fire hotter so he could do his job.”

“How?” asked a student.

“It brings in air here and blows it out on this end,” said Harper as she demonstrated the bellow for students by blowing air on them.

Within the unit, students read about the people involved in various colonial times jobs including: baker, miller, spinners, weavers, mason, bricklayer, carpenter and blacksmith, to name just a few.

The teachers try to make a connection with the trades by making it real for them.

For example, after learning about the bakers, they make bread from scratch. The students got to mix, knead, watch it rise, bake and eat the bread they created.

They have also done some weaving as well as becoming masons and bricklayers by using mini marshmallows and frosting for the brick and mortar and a tongue depressor for the trowel.

“Listening about a topic is one thing, but making it as real as we can for them is what will be meaningful, valuable and remembered by the students,” said Anderson. “If we can recreate the experience, like making bread, we know they will own their learning and it will hopefully become a life long memory. Giving students experiences in addition to knowledge is what makes learning most valuable, so if they can see and possibly touch a colonial artifact in real life, I am hoping it will be remembered as they go through their learning path and will be able to remember the Colonial museum we had in kindergarten.”

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