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Colonial Christmas held at Blacks Mill Elementary
Colonial pic 1
Charity McCracken churns butter in Elizabeth Keasler's classroom during Colonial Christmas at Black's Mill Elementary School. - photo by Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton

The fourth grade students at Black’s Mill Elementary School traveled back in time Dec. 16 for a day-long learning experience called “Colonial Christmas.”


At this point in the school year, students are studying the time period of the Pilgrims, when they landed, and when Jamestown was founded.


Colonial Christmas is a day specifically planned for learning about the pilgrims and the colonial time period.


Teachers and students are encouraged to dress-up according to the fashion of the time period to get in the spirit of learning about a vital part of American history.


Tori Adkins said her favorite part about Colonial Christmas was, “Getting to dress up like a colonial person.”


The fourth grade teachers and other volunteers set up five to six different stations, each of which taught the students a different part of colonial life and culture.


These stations were located in the classrooms and hall areas surrounding the fourth grade classrooms.


Each station focused on a specific aspect of colonial life, ranging from food preparation and games that were played, to quilt making and how yarn was made.


The students spent about 30 - 35 minutes at each station, actively participating in the activity to enhance and enjoy learning.


Fourth grade teacher Debbie Boyd’s station taught the students about toys that were made during colonial times.


“We talked and learned about activities that the colonists did,” said Boyd. “The kids have learned how colonists made their own toys that are the same as some we enjoy today, such as marbles, yo-yo’s and hula-hoops.”


Tracey Burnette, art teacher, taught students how to sew.


Each student was able to sew their own square that will be part of a quilt they will put together.


Mavis Stephens, an artistan who works spinning cotton into yarn and string, brought a spinning wheel with her to demonstrate to the students the steps involved in making yarn and string to give the students a concept of how clothes are made and that colonial people had to make their own clothes.


Mrs. Elizabeth Keasler’s station featured a real butter churn and wassail, a hot, spiced punch often associated with Christmas.


Each student at Keasler’s station was given the chance to churn the butter for a few minutes to give them an idea of how hard colonial people had to work for their food.


“You had to feed your cow to get the milk to be able to make butter,” taught Keasler. “The work never ended.”


“People always had to work,” said Grace Burrell after spending time at Keasler’s station.


“I learned that adults were not the only ones to work, kids had to work too,” said Itssel Sanchez.


At the end of the day, the students were able to eat the butter they churned with bread made from milled wheat that was brought in by parent volunteers.


“The butter was really good,” said Boyd. “We were able to get eight tubs out of the churn,” she added.


The students really enjoyed a break from their normal routine and the opportunity to dress up and learn about part of our country’s history.


The student participation this year was higher than in years past, which allowed the teachers and students alike to enjoy the day and enjoy learning.


“What made this year so great is we have such a nice group of kids that are focused on academics and excited about learning,” commented Boyd. “They are still wanting to learn more.”


E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at