This month is our slavery/civil war month. This week we had the Proffitt family staying with us to share the fun. The Proffitts have done tons of fundraising for modern-day slavery, and I think they are among the very few children who, when I started teaching them about slavery would say things like "but slavery hasn't ended."
Well, I was talking about the slavery that was legal in the United States in the South, and as I was reading to them and showing pictures of the passage that Africans were forced to take to come to America, their eyes got as big as saucers. I was worried it was too intense for my young audience.
Our activity lightened up the mood in a weird way. We acted out slavery....now don't get the wrong idea. The kids were giggling and begging to have their turn, so keep that in mind as I explain what we did. Becky, my sister-in-law, is VERY dramatic and was the perfect slave master. We put hand cuffs on the kids and put them in a little box and rocked them back and forth to simulate a ship. They were let out only to be forced to dance so they could be healthy slaves. We then put them on the selling block, and compared them to dogs, and someone always bought them.
What would a slave simulation be without cotton? We talked about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. We had them try to pick out seeds from cotton, but when the slave masters weren't looking, they could try to run to Canada (upstairs.) They all ended up in Canada in the end except Hyrum who ended up in the closet (or his elevator as he called it.)
Another day we read more stories and made corn husk dolls and talked about how things that slaves got from the land were the only things they could play with.
Those Proffitt girls were so creative. On their own they made home-made drop spindles and made the cotton into yarn and made TONS of dolls that all had their own story. Family's great.
Also, Hyrum has known his letters for some time, and he was doing it so cute today, I had to film it.