This was a great learning experience for the students as well as their families. The students have been studying the Civil War in school and have been building to the Civil War night!
Last week, the kids went to Springfield to tour the Capitol, Lincoln's Tomb, the Museum, the House, etc.. they had to be at school at 6am and arrived back home around 9pm - long day!
Then they all had research topics and have been diligently gathering info and had to create a powerpoint presentation and display board. They also in their music class were learning songs from and about that era.
This all culminated into the Civil War Day/Night this past Tuesday -
Our family friend, Ainsley who collects the women's perspective of Civil War clothing, jewelry, and artifacts was so very gracious to come to the school during the day and demonstrate how women had to dress - including showing her 'originals' dating back to the 1860's - she taught the students the names of all the various garment pieces (and I think they were all grossed out by the drawers (underwear or what some called 'bloomers')- they did not realize that they were - ahem - crotchless so women when in their hoops/gowns, had easier access to use the facilities! The boys were even quite interested! She also explained that in old photographs it is/was difficult to determine if kids were boys or girls. She explained that girls always had their hair parted in the middle and boys on the side. She had an array of old photographs and kids had fun pointing out based on this new info which were girls vs boys.
Then the evening program included the student display boards set up on tables for all the families to review, they sang their songs (all 5th grade classes together - about 140 kids) and then we had Civil War experts in the multi-purpose room.
Ainsley brought numerous dresses dating back (all ORIGINAL) to the 1860's - silk! She had original bonnets and numerous other artifacts!
The 'committee' (us Mom's volunteering to set up this evening program) also invited Esther's Place to come and show how fabric/yarn/fiber was made during this period in order to make those beautiful dresses of Ainsley's. Donna, from Esther's place demonstrated cutting shearing to carding to spinning, also displayed the types of fibers that would have been used during that era and types of dyes and tools that were available. The kids enjoyed all this immensely!
To represent the "manly" side of the era, we had Joe, a Civil War Re-enactor in with uniforms, weaponry and equipment that used in the battlefields. Again, a wealth of knowledge and interesting to all.
I'm posting some pictures here, however, to see more - I have loaded them in a link here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14597896@N02/sets/72157617222408972/