Teachers learning history in Colonial Williamsburg had the opportunity to emhance their lessons with some hands on activities about how life was during the colonial times.
Jennifer Zacharias brought some educational aids back to her students used during colonial times – flint and steel fire starters, wig curlers and wooden needle holders.
She found them in Colonial Williamsburg, during a six day training session on teaching American history that she attended with 24 teachers from San Diego.
“I brought back a lot of artifacts, so they could see how they sewed clothes, how they cooked, how they made fires,” said Zacharias, a fifth grade teacher at Rock Springs Elementary School in Escondido. “I just want to give my kids a look at what life was like in that time, that’s away from a textbook and will be much more engaging for them.”
The living history museum of Colonial Williamsburg is located in the restored 18th century revolutionary capital of Virginia. Historic interpreters tell stories, and portray the lives of colonial people, including soldiers, shopkeepers, and slaves. They also portray historical figures such as Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
The teacher institute has been offered during the summer since 1990. The intent is to help teachers bring colonial experiences into their classrooms. Teachers live in reconstructed taverns, wear historical costumes, and enjoy colonial music and entertainment.
“They are completely immersed in history,” said Tracy Middleton, a master teacher at the institute who is also an an eighth-grade history teacher at Hidden Valley Middle School in Escondido. “The teachers meet at least one historical character a day.”