“We cannot escape history,” is what Abraham Lincoln said, and as we listened to Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait this morning, Michaela and I worked on our project of re-creating Lincoln’s birthplace for our homemade doll house collection.
It is simply a cardboard box that we are coloring the logs and mud plaster onto. We cut out the one door and one window and hung a bearskin (felt) over the door. The single window in the small cabin was covered with oiled paper (we used wax paper). The floor was hard dirt so we painted on a thick layer of Mod Podge and sprinkled sand into it and let it dry. After allowing it to dry and shaking off the excess, we had a nice dirt floor.
We have several items to add yet, including a bed of saplings, a homemade coverlet and a fireplace. We will continue to add items as we read on through Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster. It’s one of Michaela’s books for Ambleside Online Year 5. I have gotten questions before regarding what to do for handicrafts and boys, and I think a project like this is so much fun! It’s does not have to be classified as a doll house!
Lately our school days have been full of history, made even richer by our participation in our Five In A Row co-op activities. I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoy being a part of a co-op and learning alongside other moms (super nice friends) and their children.
A few weeks ago we had a two-hour co-op class here. All activities were centered around the book Cowboy Charlie, which is the story of Charles M. Russell, American painter of the American Wild West. It ties in nicely with our other current reads as the times of Charles Russell pick up where Abraham Lincoln’s world left off.
We read the book, Cowboy Charlie, as a group and then set off to travel around the yard by pretend train to different areas set up to represent different phases of Charles Russell’s life.
Michaela and I had made a tepee ahead of time, and you can barely see it because it blended right into the background on this cold, gray day, but the children enjoyed it and some of them came dressed up and ready to re-enact!
One of the parts of the co-op that I worked on was “passports” to the west. There was a mystery character for each child, sealed in an envelope until everyone had received theirs. The children then opened their envelopes. We had many famous people there: Buffalo Bill, Crazy Horse, Annie Oakley, Laura Ingalls Wilder and others. It was really fun to see the children open their envelopes and find out who they were!
The original passports were made from luggage tags and then laminated. I made a quick black and white photocopy of each one to keep a laminated set on hand for personal reference. (Not to mention I wanted a tangible reminder of the day.)
My co-teacher (love her) talks about an area concerning one of the historical figures we had chosen to tell the children about.
After being outside and getting almost too chilly but not quite, we all came in and learned about the 12 constellations that tell the story of Jesus’ birth, death, and return. Cowboy Charles M. Russell worked under the stars, remember.
We then crowded into the toasty kitchen and had warm apple cider, coffee, venison sausage, rice cakes, peanut butter and carrot sticks. Everyone was so kind and I enjoyed so much having everyone over. It was a day that made some precious memories for Michaela and me. (Leslie, thank you for the pictures!)
We cannot escape history.