Friday, July 4, 2014

Fun Friday: Colonial Crafternoon

My class needed some motivation last year to make sure they had all their work done and behaved well during the week.  After a schedule change in March, we had a 30 minute block at the end of the day on Friday that was too short for a lesson, but too long to not do something productive.  We called it “Finish Up Friday.” Students with everything finished were rewarded with a fun project related to our 5th grade standards.  Click on the tag “Fun Fridays” to see other ideas you might want to try. 

Colonial Crafternoon

We did an extra long Fun Friday on the last day before the winter break.  It needed to be related to our standards, but fun.  Since we study the 13 Colonies in our Social Studies curriculum, the 5th grade team decided to have a Colonial Crafternoon. We made craft projects, ate snacks, and played games all in the ways that children in the Colonies might have done.  

Above, you can see an example of the Quilling craft project.  Students just wrapped a skinny strip of paper (get the true Quilling strips if you can -- they're thick, sturdy, and cut straight) around a toothpick.  They each got to make a flower using whichever colors they wanted for the petals and center.

We also did faux tin punching.  Here's an example of the old fashioned tin punching that colonists would have done to turn tin cans into lanterns for candles:
By OttawaAC (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

We simplified this quite a bit by using aluminum foil and construction paper frames.  Students used a toothpick to poke holes through the foil with a Styrofoam plate underneath.  I was surprised by how much fun my class had making these and how surprised they were at the affect of holding them to the light!  Several students asked for more materials to make extras.

We played a few games like the colonists would've played:

Jacks and marbles were a lot of fun for the kids to play.  I continued to use these for the rest of the year as indoor recess options on rainy or too-cold days.  

We had lots of treats that were colonial style.  We made our own butter by shaking cream in a jar. That's one of my favorite things to do with the class.  Freshly made butter is SO delicious! Just shake heavy cream in a jar until it looks like this:

Pour off the liquid, add a little salt, and spread on rolls!  Yummy!

Here's the rest of our menu:
Rolls (to try our butter)
Apple sauce 
Gingerbread cookies
Dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, apricots, apples, pears)

Great links for Colonial Crafternoon ideas:
from Germantown Academy: Colonial Day Activities

from Education Possible:  Colonial Games for Children

from Kid Activities:  Colonial Theme for Kids

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