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Southland Academy Fifth Grade Celebrates the Colonial Period, November, 2019
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Monday, December 02, 2019
Pictured are the Southland Academy Fifth Graders.
Pictured are the Southland Academy Fifth Graders.

Southland Academy Fifth Grade Celebrates the Colonial Period

November, 2019

     The Southland Academy fifth grade students were recently transported back into the 18th Century. Completely immersed into the Colonial Period, the students are not just reading about Colonial America, they become Patriot children in the midst of the American Revolution and participate in a reenactment celebration of American history. Patriots Day is the celebration of the culmination of the six week in-depth study of the extraordinary events, times, heroes, and culture of the American Revolution as well as the principles and values which are the foundation of our country. The Why America is Free curriculum enables the students to experience two centuries simultaneously. While dressed in attire befitting the Colonial period, students, faculty, parents, and volunteers join the hands on experience of butter making, metal working, participating in games, as well as making unique crafts. Likewise, the fifth grade “colonists” savored the authentic lunch and snacks served throughout the celebration. All of the students enjoyed the daily activities and were especially intrigued by the secret event. Traveling by trolley, the young “colonial students” were amazed and excited to embrace a glass blowing expedition. Referencing Patriots Day, fifth grader Emily Claire Bailey said, “I liked the games and tea, and it was an amazing experience.”

     At the onset of the curriculum, each student created a Colonial persona. During the Patriots Day celebration at school, the students lived the lives of their personas. The young mistresses learned the art of pouring tea, mending clothes, and the language of the fan. The young masters became skilled in deportment, gentleman responsibilities, and academic rigor particularly in Latin and mathematics. According to Jase Peterson, “My favorite part of Patriots Day was going to school with the Schoolmaster and learning Latin and good manners.”

     The night time activities were just as period appropriate. Continuing the dress and reenactment of the 18th Century, students attended an evening reception at a beautiful home lit only by candle light. The unknown wonders of the “nighttime event” left the students aware of the dangers that the colonists must have experienced; consequently, they were surprised and thrilled to take part in such a captivating night. At the night’s end, the students left with a sense of genuine understanding of the sacrifices our forefathers made to help us gain our independence as a nation. Cade Ledger “was amazed how it felt like we were really in the war at night.” The celebration of Patriots Day is so much more than the facts and figures of a textbook. This day and night literally make history come to life for our students.

     Southland Academy is proud to offer our students the wonderful opportunity of the Why America is Free program. With grateful appreciation to the Americus Town Committee of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, Georgia Society, Southland students were able to see first-hand the benefits of building character, one principle-based decision at a time. They realize that each person has potential for greatness. This combination of respectful behavior, vision of self and others as potentially noble individuals, and a shared ownership of a national heritage quickly builds unity.

     As a result of this curriculum, the students quickly understand how, why, and at what cost our nation was born. When they have completed the course, they understand the 18th Century language, as well as the beliefs and the world views of the founders. They have a firm grasp of the meaning of the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and of the principles embodied in them. Likewise, they have become aware of the responsibilities they must assume as citizens, and are inspired to do so.

     With the combined efforts of the Colonial Dames, the Southland Academy faculty and staff, and the numerous parent volunteers under the leadership of Ashley Mixon and Meg Remollino, Southland Academy was able to provide this special day for the Southland fifth grade students.



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