Monday, September 3, 2012

Field Trip: Plymouth

We had our first official field trip, and the school year hasn't even begun yet.  Since we were so close, we decided to stop by Plymouth.  You know, the place the pilgrims first settled after sailing across the Atlantic on the Mayflower?  Because we are studying early American history this year, this was a perfect outing.

Plimoth Plantation  is a living history museum, where you get to "walk back in time" into the 17th century.  This is great for my more literal kids, who have a harder time imagining some of the descriptions in the history books and novels we read.

The first part of the museum is an English settlement.  It was surrounded by a wall to keep out the 'natives' and to define their turf.

Nicholas was so excited to visit the meeting house, because the top level of this structure was a lookout.  With canons! ("Do they work, Mom?"  "Are they real or just made like an art-project?")

The view from the look-out.

Then we got to visit many of the English settlers' homes.

And sit on their furniture.  Talk about making history real.

We listened to actors talk about their time on the Mayflower (oh, what an awful 2 months -- lots of seasickness!) and how they live in the New Land now.  I must say, these actors were superb.  Freaked me out a little, they seemed so real.  

The second part of our visit was the Native American settlement, called the Wapanoag Homesite.  It was cool to learn that this tribe had lived in what is now Massachusettes for 10,000 years!  The people we met here were not actors, but people of Native descent who were also very knowledgeable about their history.

Ellie stands outside the wigwam (these Native Americans did not live in teepees like those of the Great Plains) which is a great dome covered in tree bark.

We were able to see and to touch many animal pelts.  Peter is "petting" a fox pelt now, saying "poor Foxy."

Olivia outside of another wigwam.

We really had a great day, including lunch with Mema and Papa, and a visit to the Mayflower II.  More  on this tomorrow...

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