A first grade tradition is to visit Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morristown, N.J. The central purpose of this trip is to give the children a perspective about life on the farm in the late 19th century, compared with their lives today. Churning butter, washing and drying laundry on a wooden washboard, and cracking corn for animal feed are chores that our students experience firsthand during the visit. Of course, these activities are novel and fun for our students, but when they learn that children were expected to participate in these difficult daily farm-life tasks, they are astonished. The lack of an electric refrigerator and use of ice blocks to keep food from spoiling, not having a store to drive to just around the corner, caring for the farm animals, and collecting drinking water from a backyard well, are all eye-opening for our first graders and begin to develop historical empathy for youngest students.
1S Performs Spookley the Square Pumpkin
This week the students in 1S performed their version of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, written by Joe Troiano. This is a story about acceptance and tolerance. The message comes across when all the round and oval pumpkins in the patch discover a square pumpkin amongst them. After the pumpkins try to convince Spookley that he doesn't belong in their patch, the farmer appears, as he does every Halloween, to choose one pumpkin to sit on his porch. When the farmer chooses Spookley, the other pumpkins begin to realize that differences are a good thing. The children performed a song celebrating their discovery. The chorus states, "Everyone is different, it's really no big thing. It's the differences between us that make life interesting."