Ye olde Parley’s Parke Colonial Days
Kids at Parley’s Park Elementary School started Thanksgiving a week early, when they held Colonial Days last Friday. Fifth-graders learned about life during America’s beginning days and wore three-corner hats. Teacher Anne Jackman said, "As all fifth-graders throughout the nation, U.S. history is our focus of study for the year. We learn what it was like to be an indentured servant as well as a plantation owner, and the significance of the tobacco crop and the need for slavery as the plantations grew and wealth began to flourish throughout many parts of the New World."
The children learned some sewing and cooking skills. They cleaned cotton, pulled wool to make yarn, and played low-tech games, like marbles.
"Things without batteries obviously," said Kelly Thomas, a Parley’s Park mom who volunteered at the event.
During Colonial Days, girls made and wore bonnets, boys wore "cravats," sort of a frilly neck tie.
"We’re celebrating the colonists and how they dressed and just how they ate apple turnovers and stuff," said Griffin Nelson.
The key to making a good bonnet is "sew it right and don’t poke yourself," said Natalie Frost.
"My favorite part is knitting the bonnets," said Zitlaly Tenorio. "Because you can have fun. We cooked a lot of things."
Thomas enjoyed the kids learning about activities they otherwise might not have done. "A lot of the boys were surprised that the sewing was fun," Thomas said. "First they started that ‘are we going to have to sew?’ then they’d come up and whisper so the other guys wouldn’t hear ‘that was so fun!’" The teachers involved were Jackman, Trindl Nebeker, Amy Jenkins and Jennifer Shane. Thomas wants to thank all the parents who contributed to Colonial Days. Asucena Ledesma said, "The girls had to do the butter with their moms and cook and make the beds and they made mostly everything and the boys helped their fathers get wood."
Conner Benson would enjoy real colonial days.
"I would like having no home work probably, but the spelling would be much harder. They had to use letters to use words. Weird letters," he said. In the olden days, words like ship were spelled "shippe."
Grant Beal said life in colonial times was more challenging than the modern day.
"It was harder. They had to use ships or wagons, they had no cars or planes," Beal said. "They didn’t have heaters. They could die of the cold. They barely had electricity. They didn’t have electricity, until Benjamin Franklin came along."
Graham Clark agrees.
"It would have been hard," Clark said. "You would have had to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning. You probably would have to work on the farm."
Clark observes, "I would miss public transportation and the food we have now because they didn’t have good food back then."
Children learned how to make ginger bread like colonists did. Kanira Albarado described ginger bread as "weird stuff" made with honey and lots of licorice. The kids made their own ginger bread, but with modern ingredients like frosting. (Some with a lot of frosting.)
"Because you wouldn’t be able to survive if you didn’t have food. You would die. Sometimes you need a little not to die," Albarado said.
Carla Bello enjoyed the event "because we get in the newspaper."
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