After reading about and researching what life was like in the American colonies, Barnesville fourth graders took on roles of colonial craftsmen. Each student took a close look at a specific trade, writing a three-page research paper and then summarizing key findings in a PowerPoint presentation to parents.
Presentations described the craft, its purpose, the tools and training it required, and the steps involved, from gathering raw materials to creating a finished product. Students also reflected on how the professions -- shipbuilder, architect, cabinet maker, glassmaker, blacksmith, potter, soap maker, and silversmith -- are practiced today.
Fourth Grade Teacher Ms. Harabatch (known as Ms. Z) said, “The kids really could see the connections between the crafts they studied and the development of the colonies. Each trade had a very specific purpose, fulfilling the needs of a growing country. While the crafts have all changed dramatically, the students see how they are all still relevant.”
After their presentations, the craftsmen shared traditional treats they have baked, like raisin pound cake and anise sugar koejkies. Then, they played games like jacks, marbles, and Jacob’s Ladder. Parents joined in a game of “Hot Potato!”