4th graders at Coosa Elementary have been learning all about life in early America. Delving into Native American history and their interactions with the European Settlers, the environment, crops, clothing, recreation, and even recipes. Coosa Elementary went the next level in their learning by inviting The Colonial Camp to come to their school and give the children a hands on experience. Tents and stations were set up for the children to rotate through including The Tomahawk, archaeology dig, bracelet making, ice cream making, dress up, and a trading post.
The trading post allowed the kids to purchase replicas and other items used and collected by our earlier generations. There were authentic buffalo teeth, bear claws, fifes (a whistle type instrument), various other flutes, quill pens, ink, fox tails, other animal skins, and much more.
At the dress up station the girls and boys had the opportunity to don apparel from this era, noting how hot and heavy the articles were compared to today’s civvies. Many recognized the purpose as protective from the environment, such as weather conditions and bug bites.
Highlights of the adventure included ice cream making using an authentic hand crank combined with an in depth explanation of supplies and ingredients needed, according to what supplies were available during those days. Each child had a hand in cranking out a batch of cool creamy concoction, producing the best vanilla ice cream I’ve tasted in a long time.
As the event culminated, the colonial camp crew banded up and played various tunes common to the times and certainly familiar today, “Yankee doodle” being a foot stomping favorite. The children were quite impressive as the crew threw out questions to review what they learned about early American life. My favorite moment was over hearing a young man say “I don’t have any money, but I have a pocket full of silly bands I can exchange for stuff, it is a trading post after all!” Somehow I get the feeling this kid may be one of the next self made millionaires with his boldness and negotiation skills already quite developed. Thank you Coosa Elementary for incorporating all methods of teaching in your curriculum, giving our children fulfilling learning experiences!
If you would like for your school, church, or club to get a true life experience of how the first Americans lived you may contact “The Colonial Camp” to schedule a date and which activities you would like to have on site. Please visit their website here: The Colonial Camp.