Sopris Elementary second-graders put aside modern conveniences and donned pilgrim hats to learn about the early American settlers Friday afternoon.Since Oct. 6 – the date the pilgrims set out to find the New World – the second-graders have learned about the pilgrims’ trip, their hardships and their way of life.Students also have written in a Mayflower journal.”It’s interesting how hard they worked,” said Jake Gentry, 7. “They worked harder than we do now. It was a lot harder for them than it was for us.”
Gentry sat with some of his friends pounding on a tin heart to practice tinning.The pilgrims learned how to tin – or make designs out of tin – so they could decorate their lanterns, Gentry said.Each student moved through eight stations including tinning, sewing, weaving, soap carving, candle making, butter churning and making cornbread.The students also learned how to play marbles, had their silhouettes drawn using an overhead projector and got a Native American history lesson from the Historical Society.”Corn was a symbol of life’s prosperity for the Native Americans,” said second-grade teacher Sally Friend.
The students also made butter for their bread by shaking a combination of milk and heavy whipping cream in a jar.”I think I see something in there,” said Travis Traul, 7, as he held up his jar for a parent volunteer to see.Much of the supplies for Pilgrim Days came from local stores such as Safeway and City Market, Friend said.The community’s willingness to support the program reinforces the pilgrims’ idea of community, said second-grade teacher Jan Smiley.”They had a huge influence on early community,” Smiley said. “For them to succeed as a community everyone had to sacrifice and contribute to survive.”
Having hands-on work station helps the students understand what life as a pilgrim was really like, Friend said.”The pilgrims were the first people to have Thanksgiving, and they were the first to celebrate it,” said Karina Hernandez, 8.Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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