Colonial History in the Classroom
December 16, 2009, 05:24 AM
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My son David is in the fifth-grade and is taking an American history class. I´m obviously interested in the subject matter and how the class is taught. The fifth-graders just completed a study of the 13 colonies.

I looked over his textbook, and though I wouldn't have written it exactly the same way, it was pretty well-done. It did mention the Lost Colony, though it didn't make mention of Virginia Dare.

David's teacher is a believer in the importance of the colonial era in American history, which is good. She even got to go to Virginia on some sort of teachers' trip, where she visited Williamsburg and Jamestown.

At the end of the colonial section, the teacher had the students give individual presentations related to colonial history. One option was to impersonate a colonial American. So David impersonated Isaac Wall, my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather (and thus David's great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather) who lived in Virginia in the early 1700s. David wore a period costume, discussed agricultural techniques of the era with the aid of a plowshare and sickle, and pointed out that Isaac Wall was the ancestor of contemporary 5th-grader David Wall. My wife, who attended, said David did well on his presentation, and I was glad to hear that.