Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crossing the Icy Deleware

I have not updated the blog in what seems like awhile. We wrapped up our Courage unit study today and it feels so good to move on. The kids really enjoyed it and I feel, for their ages, that they will take so much away from what our founding fathers did for us! Some of my favorite activities that we accomplished were within the past week.

The kids and I crossed the icy Delaware River on "Christmas" night. We filled our bathtub with ice cubes and placed toy boats heading north and south along the river in search of the Germans and British. Riah also stripped down to her skivvy's and stood in the frigid waters. So, I touched on the sleet and freezing temperatures the soldiers had to endure. I do NOT think the kids will forget that lesson- sometimes, things worth fighting for come at a huge sacrifice. Finally, we talked about how Washington was courageous and asked God for wisdom in his decisions.

We baked hasty pudding over a "hot" fire. The kids actually enjoyed it- I thought it was terrible. It was a mixture of corn meal and water- "Yumm". We also reenacted some of the battles and watched our famous Liberty Kids.

Today, we did so much in our wrap up. The kids and I lit our lanterns and went into the bathroom where it was pitch black. By the light of candle, we discussed all the fun facts we learned about our country and its founding. We talked about famous men and their sacrifices for the freedom we now enjoy. Also, we named off five people we learned about these past 10 weeks who were courageous. I am so thankful for the retention that I see in their answers. Since I do not do tests right now, these review and evaluations are so important to me.

We then blew out our amazing lanterns and started our review of the 13 colonies. We sang it to the tune of Yankee Doodle. Also, we used an acronym to try and remember all the colonies as well. The kids reenacted, AGAIN, the Patriots and the British fighting. They LOVE doing this and Riah especially loves being the "Redcoats". Jay dressed her from head to toe in  red, boys clothing and she fought her brothers to " the finish".

To help understand better how large our country is and how small the 13 colonies were, the kids and I dyed rice and created a map of the colonies. The blue is water, the yellow is the colonies and some included areas around, ie: Maine, Florida and Georgia and the green is the neighboring land and the red is the rest of the present United States. This turned out pretty well and I think we were all quite pleased with the result. Yeah for creativity! 

Finally, we read some books on Patrick Henry, watched Liberty kids and then the kids played outside. Today was a huge day of school and it went so well and so smoothly. I got my shower in at 3:30pm and was pretty pleased with that :)

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