A little taste of Colonial Williamsburg made a stop at Sierra View Elementary School this past week as approximately 100 fifth graders participated in Revolutionary War Day.
A first of its kind event for Oakdale Joint Unified School District, the idea was brought to life by fifth grade teacher Stacy Graham.
Graham was able to attend a seven day workshop last summer in Williamsburg, Virginia as a grant recipient of Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. It’s a program she became aware of through teacher networking.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” she said of the seven day trip. “The more hands on opportunities you have, the better you can teach your students.”
Plus, the students seem to enjoy the chance to live a little bit of the past.
“The goal was to see the kids get excited about history,” she continued. “To be able to give them that passion.”
The fifth graders were encouraged to dress in period attire to help them embody the characters, as well as the time in history.
During the morning they rotated through three separate activities: a ‘great’ debate of Loyalists, Patriots and Undecided member of Williamsburg; an archaeological dig and surveying.
“It was more than what I had hoped for,” Graham said of the student, parent and school site participation. “I had already had the excitement. I could have easily have just done this for my class. I am fortunate that the other teachers wanted to partner and make this an on-site field trip.”
By all accounts, the fifth graders bought in to the day of stepping back in time.
“The excitement,” she said of the student participation being the ultimate success of the day. “That’s what you want, for them to make that connection.”