Friday Update – May 17, 2013
Sometimes “Highlights” and “Ask Me About” just can’t capture the week. We need pictures!
Historically Accurate Play in Opal 4 has moved – geographically and chronologically. We are now in the city of Boston in the year 1775. The first invitation into this new time and place was a map study of a few historical maps, and using paper construction to translate what they saw into the maps into a three dimensional representation of the place.
These fifth graders negotiated how to create the map, creating opportunities for everyone who wanted to participate to have a part in the work.
Then the children were invited to become characters in this new place and time. They were all handed bios of their new historically realistic play character, and they stepped right into them. One of the proprietors of the General Store, Calderwood Shop.
The second proprietor of Calderwood Shop, busy recording her journal entry for the day.
The tax collector, an important position in Colonial America, loyally collecting what is owed the Crown since the passage of the Stamp Act.
The proprietors of the tavern, serving customers and entertaining them with card tricks, and one of the city’s most prominent importers enjoying a meal in the public house.
The school teacher at the public school, the South Latin School, working to educate his pupils on the latest Act to arrive from the King of England, The Declaratory Act.
The Calderwood Shop, busy with customers.
And so interestingly, the first necessity of this play was to understand and implement an economic system. So the students researched what money was used in Colonial Boston, and created materials that would correlate to the monetary units of the time.
And math became “Colonial Boston Math” – investigating the relationships among the different coins, looking at the value of things from the perspective of a colonial wage earner, and spending money in the general store and making change.
The students each delivered a speech on the topic of their choice. Some, like AA below, spoke from the perspective of their colonial character about an issue they felt strongly about. AA informed us about the history of taxation in the American Colonies from 1765 through 1775.
As always, spending time in the natural world, laughing, climbing and supporting each other.
And through it all, making time to discuss intentions for the end of the year, how we want to be with each other as we get closer to graduation, and what we want to include in the final chapters of our story as a learning community.
AA: I feel like I will carry these memories with me into middle school.
SBM: Like an armor.
AA: Like something precious.
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” -HH