I was asked to be a part of "Civil War Day" today. All second graders and eighth graders (plus a small army of volunteers) drove about thirty minutes to an outdoor camp by a lake to learn about the Civil War. They had a bunch of different stations: a cooking station, a first aid station, a weapons station, etc. Groups of fifteen kids rotated between stations every half an hour. A couple of Civil War Re-enactors feven ired off their muskets in a demonstration at the end!
My station was the "Paint a flag/Storytelling" one. The kids got fifteen minutes to paint a flag, and fifteen minutes to listen to ME tell Civil War stories! I borrowed an outfit from a colleague (all the other volunteers rented costumes) and I had a lot of fun walking around in my swooshy skirt. I used to play dress-up A LOT as a kid. Mom had a big dress-up-box full of dresses, "pearl" necklaces, high heeled shoes, and gaudy clip on jewelry--it was the best. But I digress.
I had some picture books with me, but quickly discovered that the kids were bored stiff if I just read from them. So I jumped around between two books, talking in my Excited Teacher Voice (complete with Excited Facial Expressions and Grandiose Gestures). I enthralled each group with tales of brave drummer boys and courageous nurses.... FOURTEEN TIMES!! I talked for three hours straight! Whew! I think I am now prepared to teach a college class (because that's apparently the only skill they need to have to be hired...)
All in all, despite the bugs and the heat, it was a great time. I felt a little bad about our station... definitely didn't seem as exciting as all the other stations. But when it was all over, a volunteer/mom came up to me and told me that I had done a good job and that her son "liked the 'reading lady' best."
Yay for field trips!
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