By Misty DUPLESSIS
On May 10, Valley View Elementary School fifth graders were immersed in all things Colonial as their studies of Jamestown from 1607 through the Revolutionary War approached the end.
Students dressed in Colonial attire after months of learning about the period and were able to experience what it was like for kids their age during that period.
Whether the students dug in their closets and pieced together outfits that suited the time period or purchased their costumes, all looked authentically Colonial.
Although the social studies lesson is part of the state standards for fifth graders, Valley View’s staff and volunteers helped make this lesson one that students would have fun with while learning.
Candle making, soap carving, doll making, bean bag sewing, silhouette art, butter churning, calligraphy writing and cross stitch art were all activities the fifth grade colonists participated in. Students also danced the Virginia reel folk dance, which dates back to the 17th century, as part of the fun Colonial day.
Earlier in the week, the fifth graders took a field trip to Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen where they were able to experience what farm life was like in Colonial times.
Fifth grader Elena Guevondian enjoyed learning about the differences of living during the Colonial period versus what people experience in the 21st century.
“Right now, we have lights. Colonists didn’t have lights at that time, that’s why they had billions of billions of candles,” said Guevondian, adding that even the candle making process was more laborious in the Colonial days.
Many parents dressed in Colonial-period garb were at Valley View throughout the day and helped make the Colonial feast which consisted of chicken, baked potatoes, baked beans, fruit, salad and cobblers.
As part of the curriculum, students created Colonial characters based on what they learned over the course and shared the names, occupations and familial status of the fictional people. While students participated in the Colonial day fun, fifth grade teacher Kelly Stubbs interviewed students about the characters they created.
Stubbs was pleased with the level of detail the students put into their Colonial alter-ego.
“It was fun to see how much they had thought about their Colonial persona,” she said, “and how much they knew about the colony they said they were living in.”