On a chilly winter morning, DCD third graders embarked on a field trip to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated historical New England town. To deepen their study of colonial times, each student was assigned a trade, which then served as a point of connection to individual life in the 1830s. Student groups spent the day visiting different tradespeople, asking questions and furthering their understanding of what it might have been like to live in this time period. As they crossed the river bridge, a group of colonial actors passed and greeted the class, “good day!” as this was generally used in place of modern day “good afternoon” or “good morning.”
Everyone was bundled in their warmest jackets, mittens and even snow pants since the only heat of the 1830s came from fires and occasional furnaces. The class walked to houses and town shops discovering homemakers, blacksmiths, shoemakers and more!
The potter asked, “Does anyone know how glaze is made?”
“Out of melted down sand!” said one of the students who was assigned the potter trade.
In all of the years the actor has been working at OSV, no one had ever answered that question correctly. He asked if anyone knew what metal creates a green color when it’s heated and another student correctly exclaimed, “Copper!” These DCD students are prepared for every moment!
The day ended after meeting a farmer with two oxen on the road! The farmer told the students that he nurtured these oxen from calves, and though they are large, they still have five-hundred pounds left to grow. DCD recognizes the importance of understanding and honoring history to make more informed present-day decisions. This visit to OSV was an exciting moment of experiential learning as third graders continue to broaden their perception of the world.
Thank you Mrs. Hultgren and Mrs. Mills for organizing this annual adventure!