Observing Family Life at an 18th-Century Farm

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First-grade students took a deep look at how families change over time and how that change is recorded through a trip to Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, a historic site that transported them to the 1750s.

The students, who also have been studying how families from long ago have similarities and differences with their own families today, were immersed in 18th-century farm and mill life during the trip. 

They attempted to write using a feather pen and noted how much more difficult it is than using the writing utensils of today. Two classes also received corn meal from Philipsburg Manor and used it to create corn muffins that families would have enjoyed during that time period. Students also saw how candles were used in lieu of electricity, while today, they are only used if power is lost. Once back in the classroom, students used photographs from the trip as prompts for nonfiction writing.