During the months of December and January, eighth grade students at Stella Schola Middle School began their studies of the American Revolution with their teacher, Mr. Gorchel. After several lively discussions of the reasons for the revolution, students began planning and preparing for a Colonial Cookout, where parents would be treated to a colonial luncheon and entertainment.
One student worked to create and perform a revolutionary poem, another student practiced singing "Amazing Grace" a cappella, one practiced a military march solo on his snare drum, one group of students prepared a rousing rendition of "Yankee Doodle Dandy," one student demonstrated the colonial children's game of marbles, and one group learned a colonial dance called the cotillion. Mathematics was integrated as each student created a quilted square which was then sewn together by parent volunteer Janet Truselo to create a lovely colonial class quilt.
On the day of the cookout, tables were set with white table cloths; red, white and blue ribbons flags and balloons; and white candles. Eighth graders spent the morning chopping vegetables for stew, cooking cornbread, peeling apples for applesauce from scratch, preparing Spanish rice, cooking Colonial candy, baking bread, and churning their own butter in an authentic colonial butter churn.
Finally, students changed into Colonial costumes they created themselves and prepared to welcome their parents as they gathered for the cookout. It was a wonderful way to integrate so many subjects into history and to make this period in American history relevant to the students! In addition, students created their own version of Poor Richard's Almanac in small groups, and parents enjoyed reading the papers while they waited for their turn to help themselves to the delicious student-cooked lunch![[In-content Ad]]