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PHOTOS: ‘A Revolutionary Experience’ Brings Colonial Times to Grade 5 Classrooms

The unit was created by the grade 5 teachers as a way to bring history to life and for students to experience what life was like during the American Revolution. 
Dressed in costumes reminiscent of colonial times, St. Margaret’s grade 5 students took part in “A Revolutionary Experience” last week, with activities and games that more closely brought students to the time period around the United States’ founding. 
The unit was created by grade 5 teachers Todd Clarke, Erika Higgins and Rachel Stephens as a way to bring history to life and for students to experience what life was like during the American Revolution. 
The experiential day was the culmination of several class projects around the Revolutionary War. Students rotated between three activities, each of which applied their learning in creative and fun ways. 
In one stop in the rotation, a grade 5 classroom was decorated to recreate the social life of colonists, as students enjoyed snacks, played board games and read Revolution-era newspapers created by their fellow students during a recent writing unit. 
In another, students performed plays that reenacted key moments during the Revolutionary War, writing the scripts and acting out historic events which they rehearsed ahead of time. The plays took place in McGregor Family Theater and parents were in attendance to watch the shows. 
New this year was a digital escape room, where students were organized in small groups and whisked away into a digital world to solve a host of puzzles, crosswords, and challenging activities using their knowledge of the time period. The digital activities led to a scavenger hunt where students found a secret coded box with a colonial artifact inside. A cipher revealed what the item was—either a square-cut nail, some wax and a stamp, a steel striker and flint, a pair of needle holders, or a continental dollar. 
“Students had a lot of fun solving the puzzles to get where they needed to go,” Mr. Clarke said. “In the end it was a journey from the past to the present that required teamwork, skill, and determination.”
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