Further Water Adventures

We’ve been studying the American Revolution. This afternoon for our weekly hands-on history period I told the kids that I wanted them to dramatize the Boston Tea Party. I envisioned them putting on costumes from our large store, climbing onto our swingset platform, and throwing something off. Simple and fun.

Jonathan, however, had grander ideas. Why not take his and Peter’s rafts across the road to Snake Pond and do the reenactment there, on the water? (They’ve been rafting pretty regularly on inflatable rafts, originally intended to be used as sleds.) Why not, indeed?

So with Peter, Jon, and Paul dressed in Indian costumes, and the girls in colonial garb, we set out, trekking through a waterlogged bean field. I was along primarily as the photo-documenter, though they insisted I also wear a costume. Too bad I didn't have our digital camera, but I sent it with Kara up to Purdue when hers broke just before she returned.

After a Sons of Liberty planning meeting on shore, the older boys took off in their crafts to row (actually pole themselves) to the (imaginary) British ships which they pretended to board and relieve of tea (sticks). The girls provided encouragement from land, and wondered what the British would do in retaliation. Now you have to understand that Snake Pond, though our largest, is still very small, and it is choked with cattails. So the resemblance to Boston Harbor is slim and takes some imagination. Ben, from his perch on my back, found the whole episode pretty funny, especially whooping like an Indian.

Upon their return home the girls made “Queen Cakes” and “Liberty Tea” which they served to the boys who had stayed to raft for a while longer. All in all it was a wonderful afternoon. And yes, everyone kept his or her clothes on and no one fell in, though Paul tried.


Anonymous said…
We just recently viewed old homeschooling video footage and laughed our guts out at our "Boston Tea Party" at Tulip Tree Apartments. Each of my boys were dressed as Colonials (who were dressed as Indians) and they used a duplo mallet as a hatchet to break open boxes of leaves and tip them into the harbor from the jungle gym. What great learning and treasured memories and funny videos!
Anne said…
Beth, one of my strongest memories from that time is of Suzanne wearing her mustache and acting like Baron von Steuben. We've been through this unit at least three times now, and still when I read about the Baron I picture Suzanne, who I think was pregnant with Katie at the time, performing military drills with our children in the Basile's front yard one cold winter day. And now all those little guys are all grown up!

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