Friday’s all-day history workshop was a blast! Read on to learn about all the fun things we did, learned, and saw.
8:30-9:30 Poem and Writing: As always, we started the morning with a poem and creative writing writing. In honor of our afternoon field trip we read Naomi Shiiab Nye’s poem, Historical Markers.
9:30-10am KWL Activity: Students completed KWL charts about what they already knew and what they wanted to find out about:
- Eunice Williams, whose grave and historical marker we already visited on a previous field trip to Historic Deerfield and the Eunice Williams Bridge in Lyden, respectively
- Captain William Turner, whose historical markers we visited later in the day
- the Attack on Deerfield, which we learned about on a previous field trip with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
- the Massacre at Peskeompskut, aka the Battle of Turner’s Falls, which we read about earlier in the year in Joseph Bruchac’s The Winter People.
In Monday’s humanities class, students will complete the posters with everything they learned.
10-10:30 And Sometimes Y Manx, Morris and Sword: In his book The Mayflower and the Pilgrim’s New World, which we’ve been reading all year, Nathaniel Philbrick describes how “[i]nstead of building a wall around Merryount [an English settlement just south of present-day Boston], Morton [the settlement’s founder] erected an eighty-foot-high maypole that he and his men danced around with their Native neighbors, making a mockery of the solemn religiousness of the Plymouth settlement.” The English folk dance described here is called Morris dancing, and since our awesome substitute teacher Larkin Christie happens to be on a Manx, Morris and Sword dancing team, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have them come in and perform for the students.
10:30-10:50 Snack/Break time. Students enjoyed ASY’s performance so much that they spent the majority of their free time Morris dancing themselves! If you liked And Sometimes Y Manx, Morris and Sword’s performance as well, take a moment to like them on Facebook!
10:50-11:30 Website Activity: Students explored Historic Deerfied’s interactive website to learn more about the Peskeomskut massacre, Eunice Williams, Captain William Turner, and the attack on Deerfield.
11:30-12:30 Story Time: For our last activity of the morning, students finished reading the last part of the last chapter of The Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, a book that we’ve been reading together as a class since November! The reading was followed by a discussion on slavery, and how the 180 Native Americans who were sold into slavery on the Seaflower are rarely mentioned in discussions about the Pilgrims or about the history of slavery in the United States.
12:30-1:30 Lunch and Recess: During recess, students wanted to go on a walk down to the pier.
1:30-2:30 Historical Markers Field Trip: We spent an hour in the afternoon visit Captain William Turner’s historical markers in Gill and Greenfield. We discussed the text: who probably wrote it, what did the author think while they were writing it, and would we write it a different way?
2:30-2:15 Swimming and fun: Since two of William Turner’s historical markers are right next to the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area, we spent the rest of our day there playing on the playground and swimming in the (very cold!) river.