Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hi all,

The last time I posted, I wrote about how I was looking forward to starting to study the relationship between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags in my class.  Now, we have moved forward in history to the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and are studying every day life in a Puritan colonial town.   This transition has brought up some interesting discussions in my class, as students begin to understand the continuity of history.  Despite having "finished" studying the Pilgrims (in their interpretation), I am trying to have them understand that people were still living in Plymouth, and the community continued, even though our focus is now on Salem and Boston.  One way I have tried to encourage this continuity is to have students create a timeline of colonial history in Massachusetts.  Using a program called Timeliner, which is available in our computer lab, students are creating timelines showing various events.

As we have transitioned into the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, my class has been able to make several interesting connections.  Suprisingly, one connection is to a field trip we took in October to Salem Pioneer Village, in Salem.  The village is a recreation of the original colony set up in 1630, and in many respects is very similar (though much smaller in scale) to Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth.  The extraordinary thing about this field trip was that the entire day was an interactive experience for the students, with live actors allowing them to participate in various aspects of a "typical" day, including a prayer meeting, daily chores, lessons, and games.  This program was set up especially for our school, with the help of some theater students and actors from Gordon College.  During the visit, students had conversations with village elders, saw artifacts from the time period and_____.  Six months later, my students can recall this information, and it has