Monday, July 25, 2011

Williamsburg Top Ten

I recently went to Williamsburg, VA for a teacher institute. Here is a list of the top ten things that I got to do while there!

10: Lesson Plans I got great ideas for lessons to take back to the classroom! We learned so many cool things while there. We really learned about the importance of primary sources and how to use them with kids. One of my favorite things were the colonial games! They were so neat. For more information of lessons that are free to everyone, check out the Online Teacher Community.

9: Surrender Field This was a very moving experience to see where so much history took place. Freedom is most certainly not free and it was very evident throughout the week. We looked at so many important people throughout history that were brave and gave their lives for our country. Being at Surrender Field made it that much more powerful.

8: Jamestown I didn't really know what to expect from Jamestown, but it was just awesome! There one one part that was rebuilt to look like it would have in the 18th century, and then another portion that was the actual site of the original colony. It was fascinating to see what life would have been like then. People went through so much to come to this country... and it was certainly not a land of riches and gold like they expected.

7: "Cry Witch" This was a reenactment of a witch trial as it would have taken place in the 18th century. It was very interesting to see how serious being accused of witchcraft was. In the end, we (being the people in the audience) had to vote and decide whether the woman was guilty or not. In the end, all of the evidence pointed to guilt. She pleaded her case, but just could not prove that she was not a witch. We voted her guilty and she was sentenced to death. It was really interesting and eerie all at the same time.

6: Meeting Martha Washington I loved "meeting" her. It was neat to listen to the interpreter's interpretation of how Martha felt during the war. She had an extremely difficult life. She outlived all 4 of her children and 2 husbands. In Williamsburg, interpreters retell stories as if they are really that person. They study them extensively and can answer questions and tell things as if they are really that person from history. 

5: Food The food was DELICIOUS!! Yum! (and free... which made it even better) We had fresh seafood, more ice cream than any one person should consume, deserts that were awesome, great pizza, etc. Everything was really good. One evening (my favorite meal of the week) we went to Christiana Campbell's Tavern. I had delicious crab cakes. We also were taught how to tie our very large napkins around our necks so as not to get any food on our lovely gowns. Here I am with my sweet friend, Mallory.

4: Friends/Connections The 27 other people that I went to Williamsburg with were wonderful. They made the trip that much more fun. I really made some lasting friendships with some of the other teachers. We all bounced ideas off of each other and laughed together too. We did everything together, so you got to know each other quickly! The trip certainly would not have been the same without the friendships and bonds that were formed. This is a picture of me with Linda, Steph and Heather.

3: Shopping I love shopping in general, but shopping in Williamsburg was super fun! There were a lot of things that I bought that you just can't get elsewhere.... like a wig curler, newspapers from the 18th century, Macaroni prints, locally brewed root beer, colonial games and clothing, etc. It was so fun to go to all of the little shops and trade stores.

2: The Ball This was so fun. We just gathered at the Governor's Palace and learned colonial dances by candlelight. It was neat to see the main form of entertainment during that time period. Dance was an important part of their social lives. I have always loved dance, so this part was especially intriguing for me. All of the dances that we learned could be used in the classroom also. It was a fun night of dancing and socializing.

And my #1.... Touring all of the colonial homes! I have always been obsessed with homes and looking inside of them. This was most definitely my favorite part of the trip. I got to see inside so many different places such as the church, gentry homes, slaves quarters, working family homes, governor's palace, capitol building, Powhatan huts, and many more. It was just so neat to get to see what their homes looked like on the inside. It really gave me a view of what was treasured or seen as most important. A home tells so much about a person. These were no exception. Williamsburg had them decorated as they would have traditionally been as well as furnished.

So there you have it! It was a great trip!

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