Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Palisades at Plymouth Colony

     The Tindle kids have been studying early explorers this school  year and now we are heading into the colonial period of America.  This week we focused on the voyage of the Mayflower and the establishment of the Plymouth colony.  They really enjoyed learning about Captain Myles Standish, Governors Carver and Bradford and of course their alliance with Chief Massasoit.  What really grabbed my three boys' attention though, was the interaction between Plymouth colony and Chief Canonicus.  Apparently Canonicus sent Plymouth a  quiver full of arrows, daring the settlers to a fight. In response, Governor Bradford returned the quiver but loaded it full of powder and ball shot. This frightened Canonicus so much that he refused to even touch the quiver.   The boys loved the story and it was a great illustration of using wisdom to solve big problems.

The settlers did not stop with a simple gesture to protect themselves.  They also spent time and energy on defense by building large wooden walls around their settlement.  They were constantly on guard and aware that attack could come at any time.

Inspired by this illustration, the kids decided to build their own palisades.

They used magazine pages and glue sticks to create their logs. 

The four of them worked quickly and mom helped some, so there was quite a pile of building material after about thirty minutes.

Then they got to work with the glue guns. My kids love working with the hot glue guns so any project that allows them to do so is a big hit.  I love the glue guns too, work is so much faster and easier when we use them. 

Our palisades came together much faster than the settlers' did but still it is a work in progress.  The walls are all built. There are hinged gates as well as some windows.  The builders are currently in the process of creating the buildings and individuals to inhabit the settlement.  I think Legos are going to be a huge player in that process. There have already been discussions of spray painting the fort so that it is more realistic, we'll see. 

I love a good project and the kids are so excited about this one.  It is terrific to see them really think about what the palisades were for.  They are very concerned about getting all the gaps covered so that arrows could not penetrate the walls, they also want to make sure that the gates are defended so that attack will be difficult there.  I'm sure these were some of the same thoughts that were running through the Plymouth colonialists minds as they built their walls. 

Thanks for reading!