Friday, January 27, 2017

Art Lesson ... Motherwell Collage

Another Carla Sonheim art lesson.  


Revolutionary Recipes

We decided to eat like the Colonists did for a week.  Some a little plain and some certainly a little more fancy.


Carolina Fish Muddle
Marinated Asparagus(claimed to be a favorite of Thomas Jefferson)
Beef Stew
Brown Bread
Apple Tansy
Chicken Roly Poly
White Bean Stew
Meringues
Homemade Butter ... Just take about a half a cup of cream and place it in a jar, seal it up and shake!  In about 2 minutes you will have nice soft butter.  



Cross Stitching a Bookmark

We found a cross stitch bookmark kit that used patterns that were common during the Revolution.





Battle of Monmouth, Freehold NJ

We visited the site of the Battle of Monmouth.  The battle was fought in 1778 very close to where we live.

We toured the exceptionally well done museum including a great diorama that leads you through a reenactment of the battle. 



There are a number of hiking trails through the battlefield.


We had to make a stop at the site of the conflict between General George Washington and General Charles Lee, as one of the girls has been come a big supporter of poor General Lee!


We then followed the British retreat route to Sandy Hook, looking for homes that would have been standing at the time of the retreat and noting the various British campsites along the way.

We stopped at an old family grave site near our house belonging to the Maxson family.  We researched the family and learned that one of the members was killed by a stray bullet while watching the Battle of Monmouth.

Lastly we stopped by a park we have been to a hundred times because we learned that a Patriot Joshua Huddy was hung by Loyalists in the park in retribution for the death of a Loyalist at the hands of the Patriots.

Great trip so close to home!

American Revolution Online Scavenger Hunt

The girls completed an online scavenger hunt for facts about the American Revolution and the founding of our government.


Image result for john trumbull painting


  1. A picture of Valley Forge.
  2. Names of George Washington’s children.
  3. Where did Thomas Jefferson go to college?
  4. Did all Patriot soldiers wear uniforms?
  5. Where and when was the first submarine attack?
  6. A picture of the first submarine.
  7. Which newspaper was founded by Alexander Hamilton?
  8. A picture of Alexander Hamilton.
  9. A picture of Aaron Burr.
  10. What university did Jefferson design and start?
  11. Why did Jefferson go to France?
  12. What school did Hamilton enroll in when he arrived in the US?
  13. Hercules Mulligan knocked down what in Bowling Green and made it into what?
  14. List all of Hamilton’s children.
  15. A quote by Hamilton.
  16. What building was burned in Elizabeth in 1780?
  17. Where did George Washington stop and have lunch before his inauguration?
  18. What is Fraunces Tavern?
  19. What does the Department of the Treasury do?
  20. A picture of King George III.

Studying "Hamilton"

This American Revolution project took on a wonderful life on of it's own!

During the past month, we went through a few "Hamilton" songs each day with the plan to talk about the major events that are being described in each song.  But what we learned as we read through each song was that there is barely a sentence, a phrase, a word that does not convey mountains of information.  Not only were we inspired to study so many smaller events and secondary characters but the personality and motivations and choices of the characters.  Each song inspired lots of discussion and debate.

Then girls captured lots of facts and their opinions alongside the lyrics of each song.  This was a project they really enjoyed! 





Monday, January 23, 2017

Writing the Missing "Hamilton" Song

Each of the girls picked an event of the Revolutionary War that we learned about but that was not covered in "Hamilton" and then wrote a song using the facts they had learned.  A little research, a little poetry ....


Image result for hannah caldwell

One of the girls wrote this song was about Hannah Caldwell and a story we learned during our tea at Liberty Hall and then again when we went to the site of the Battle of Connecticut Farms.  


The Ghost of Liberty Hall

June 7, 1780
Subsequent to the
Battle of Connecticut Farms

Nearly every building had been
torched
Nearly everyone one was frantic
in the town taken by chaos

In the midst of the
disorder, discord, disarray
the Redcoats shot down an
innocent bystander
Hannah Caldwell (she'll be important later)

As darkness took its reign
the British found themselves
at the house of Governor William Livingston
it was said that the house was empty, deserted
but little to their knowledge
his daughters Sarah, Susanna, and Catherine
were all at home

They were all in bed
but Susan heard the Redcoats
she knew something was amiss
so she lit her candle
and as she reached the landing of the stairs
the lightning flashed
and all the soldiers saw was

a haunt
a specter
the ghost of the late
Hannah Caldwell
the one they shot down dead
they ran thinking she was out for revenge

As the frightened soldiers
scrambled to safety
they wondered
Was that really a ghost they saw?

But what do you know?
They never
came back
again

And in the spirit of letting them learn how they want, I let the other write an essay supporting why she felt that Charles Lee got a bad rap in the "Hamilton" song "Stay Alive".  Still research and I find it kind of poetic.  And I was pretty impressed with her forming an opinion and supporting it.

I'm a General, Whee!
Charles Lee. Known as the traitorous general who led Patriot troops to a retreat after one shot was fired at the Battle of Monmouth. Yes, he sounds absolutely villainous. But, I believe (I’m  ten, so my opinion is unimportant to most 37 year-olds.) that he was not a traitor, but a chicken. Let me tell you why.
First of all, the Continental army was greatly outnumbered… 11,000 Continental soldiers versus 14,500 British soldiers. They were also fighting in 100 degree heat, plus the heat of the cannons and other weaponry. They had a very slight chance of winning, and a huge chance of death. Maybe Charles Lee was really scared.  I think the majority of people would have retreated like Mr. Lee.
Secondly, it was his first battle in the position of a General, so maybe it was just shock that made him act that way. I mean, would you be a little scared or shocked if you were commanding a few thousand men that are ready to kill at a moment's notice?
Finally, there are British war plans that are in in his handwriting. I’m sorry, the guy has nice handwriting! But it is pretty common to have handwriting exactly like General Lee’s. I know, I know people can test how they slant letters and yada yada SOMEONE ELSE COULD HAVE WRITTEN THESE AND PRETENDED THEY WERE FROM CHARLES LEE!
Not a soul can prove that Charles Lee is a traitor. No one. I think he’s just a poor little Charles who need some love and a psychiatrist.


Antique Furniture Hunt

We took a field trip to a local antique store and went on a hunt for furniture popular during the American Revolution.  Using the Field Guide to American Antique Furniture we looked at the Chippendale and Windsor styles for tables and chairs, figured out their distinguishing factors and then looked around the shop to see if we could spot some examples.



Friday, January 20, 2017

Constitution Scavenger Hunt

Today we explored the Constitution.  


Image result for us constitution

We discussed what is contained in the Preamble, the Articles and the Bill of Rights and then read the Constitution in this great simplified language version.  Then the kids did a scavenger hunt looking for where different ideas were listed.


Constitution Scavenger Hunt .. Find where the Constitution ....
  1. Indicates how old a Representative must be.
  2. Sets a limit on how many times a President could be elected.
  3. Declared that punishments and fines must be fair.
  4. Abolishes slavery.
  5. Protects religion, free speech, assembling and printing.
  6. Indicates how many Senators each state gets.
  7. Explains how a bill becomes a law.
  8. Talks about control of Federal lands.
  9. Implores that each house of Congress needs to keep a journal or record of their meetings.
  10. Tells how old you have to be to vote.
  11. Explains how the Constitution was agreed to.
  12. Defines treason.
  13. Explains how the President is chosen by the Electoral College.
  14. Made the sale of alcohol illegal and where it was repealed.
  15. Says that any power not granted to the Federal Government belongs to the States.
  16. Guarantees a speedy trial.
  17. Gives the right to own guns.
  18. Mandates that the President must give yearly speeches to the nation.
  19. Explains how the President picks the judges.
  20. Instructs on how to change the Constitution.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Making Invisible Ink

We kind of figured that perhaps invisible ink was used to smuggle messages.  (Don't ruin my enthusiasm if I'm wrong!!)


So today we made messages with invisible ink and I asked the girls to figure out how it worked.  And, of miracles of homeschooling, they did!

They used lemon juice and a solution of half baking soda, half water to write their messages.  When I asked what they noticed about their choices, they realized they were both acids.

As they applied the solutions to the paper, I asked what they thought was happening.  They knew that acid wears away your teeth so they figured that the acid was wearing away the paper.

After the messages had dried, we heated them over a flame to reveal the writing.  They decided that the part of the paper that had been worn away by the acid burned faster and revealed the message.

Hoorah!


Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

Came across Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues today.  This is basically a list of what he thought to be the most important character traits for a person to have.  For himself, he noted how he was doing in each area each day.   

Image result for ben franklin's 13 virtues

Today we discussed them all and each picked an area we want to grow in.  We'll take notes each day like Ben!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Art Lesson ... Quote Collage

We all picked a favorite quote and then made it into a piece of art.  We covered the floor with scrapbook paper, gelattos, watercolors, stamps, glue, scissors and pencils and then let our creativity run wild.