Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh the History at Jamestown

I have always been very interested in early American History, even as a child. I remember I had a friend who came over a few times to play and we would make pilgrim hats out of paper and play pilgrims. Our visit to Jamestown last week was fabulous (albeit a bit warm, but what am I complaining about right? It's been 52 degrees in Michigan this week!) Jamestown was the 2nd historical place we visited on our trip. This was the place that is a recreation of the actual fort which has been discovered just down the beach at an archaeological dig (we visited that later in the day).

We were lucky enough to take advantage of all that "Home School Days" were providing, which included a 2 hour guided tour of Jamestown. The first stop was out to see the route that the English settlers took to get here. It fit perfectly with our studies of maps this year. The girls seemed very interested in seeing the map and the voyage itself.

After looking at the map and talking about how long it took the settlers to reach what would be the colonies (just over 4 months!), the girls were shown various implements the sailors would use while sailing. Here Peanut is looking at a compass which floated in a box so that the compass could spin allowing it to follow north.

After discussing how the sailors were able to know where they were going and follow their maps, we were able to board the 3 recreated ships that were sitting in the harbor. WONDERFUL ships that really gave us a feel for what it must have been like to have 100 men stuck in the ship for all those months!

After visiting the fort itself we were escorted to the Powhatan Indian Village that was outside the fort. The girls were able to see how the Indians made canoe's out of a tree. I always assumed they chopped the insides right out, not true. They actually slowly burned the insides out and used very large shells as tools to scrape out the burned log. The girls LOVED being able to scrape the log out and felt like they really helped in making this canoe.

And of course, when you work hard, it is nice to enjoy your reward....

I'll share some more Indian village pictures tomorrow. I think that Peanut really enjoyed Jamestown the most. Today for English we began talking about Word Webs and rough drafts and she needed to write about something we have experienced together. She chose to write about the trip to the Indian Village at Jamestown!

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