Monday, November 25, 2013

101 in 1001: #100 - Go to Plymouth Plantation

Last Wednesday, I got to cross off the 2nd item on my "101" list. The school needed someone extra to go on a 2nd grade field trip to Plymouth Plantation and I was MORE than excited to volunteer. While I may have been busy chasing 2nd graders around all day, I definitely had a blast exploring some major Mass history and crossing something off my list!
Once we arrived at the plantation, we were ushered into a theater to watch a 15 minute video on the history of the plantation. The video went into a lot of detail on how the Pilgrims forced the Wampanoag Indians into slavery and brought many deadly diseases with them, killing off most of the tribe. Clearly, this isn't all happy stuff and one of the second graders sitting next to me shouted out, very loudly I might add, "this can't be true- this is SO sad!" Bless his heart. Unfortunately, history isn't always happy, but I had to explain to him that we learn about it so that we learn from the mistakes of others, hopefully preventing history from every repeating itself.
From the theater, we began our tour of the plantation, stopping at the home site of the Wampanoag tribe first. The thing that stood out the most to me was that every "worker" in this area was actually a member of the Wampanoag tribe. It's probably just the history nerd in me (thanks Dad), but I thought that was pretty cool! We toured their sleeping quarters and were able to ask questions to learn how the tribe survived year-round in such a cold environment.

Sleeping quarters for 15-20 people.

We met a man who was pretending to be Squanto (the leader of the tribe), who was dressed exactly like men would dress in that time (minus the red coat which was given to him by the King of England). It was in the 20's that day and this man did NOT have pants on. Talk about cold. 

After a quick break for lunch, we finished our tour of the plantation by walking through the English settlement, where the "workers" were in full character to give the children a better idea of what it was like to live there in the 1600's.

While in this area, we witnessed two men attempt to fix a chimney with mud and wood, many women cook some sort of  stew over an open fire, and a few people tending to gardens and feeding their pet goats/chickens/sheep. All I could think about while I was there was what if would have been like if I could close my eyes and actually go back 300-400 years ago. I think this was about as close as we'll ever get though, and I'm fine with that. At the end of the day, I got to go back to my heated apartment, turn on the lights, and cook a meal I didn't have to kill.

All in all, this was a pretty fun way to cross an item off of my 101 list! 2 down, 99 to go!

1 comment :

  1. This is so cool! I just did a Webquest with my fifth graders today about the first Thanksgiving and we learned a ton about the Wampanoag. Thanks for sharing!