Walking through History

Yes, it is another history post; we do cover other subjects, but history gets the most field trips.   As we approached the turn of the century in our Canadian History studies we spent a week on the Klondike gold rush.  It was my turn to prepare the lesson and the more I read the more I realised that I just had to invent a game.  When I taught grade five in Melbourne we studied the Ballarat gold rush and spent a couple of days at Sovereign Hill.  Part of our unit was a gold rush game which I remember was very popular with the class.  I found the book Gold! The Klondike Adventure by Delia Ray full of insight into the discovery of the strike and the arduous journey many took to join the gold crazy miners.  Consequently the majority of my game related to the journey, not the gold mining.  All the consequences written into the game were taken from actual events documented in the books I read.

During the gold rush Wilfred Laurier was Prime Minister, so we visited the house he lived in at that time. Laurier House is furnished primarily with the furniture of William Mackenzie King, who lived there after the Lauriers and was prime minister in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.  There are some pieces owned by the Lauriers including the player piano owned by Mrs Laurier, which she used to teach her piano students.  All four families who attended the field trip found it fascinating and I think our guide enjoyed the children’s enthusiasm.

A couple of weeks ago we attended two workshops at the National War Museum, covering WW1 and WW2.  Generally when we visit museums we are reviewing material covered recently, but at the time the World Wars were still ahead of us so the workshops served as an introduction.  As in the past the workshops give the students the opportunity to handle and investigate authentic artifacts from the time period.  Artwork, posters, uniforms, military equipment, copies of letters and other objects were available for the students to read, touch and discuss.  Although the workshop was aimed at much older students B8 coped very well and was engaged through out.  L14 was not able to attend that day as she was with Andrew for “Take your kid to work day”, which she enjoyed.

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