Teachers use their usual textbook and materials. Why America Is Free lesson plans apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in this subject to discover things they want to know relating to what they are learning in Social Studies and other subjects.
Colonial Games and Sports
GAMES of skill and chance were played by both children and adults ~ backgammon, chess, hop scotch, I Spy, to name a few. Even in New England and among the strictest religious groups that forbade slothful behavior, games that trained or strengthened the body and mind were sanctioned and widely enjoyed.
SPORTS were always important. Because daily life was more physical for most people then than it is for many today, basic fitness was rarely the issue it is now for some students. Their sports generally strengthened the body and increased endurance while developing skills that could be useful. Running, riding, dancing, lifting and throwing, wood cutting, bowling, swimming, climbing, and keep-away were among many sports.
Washington was known not only for his equestrian skills but also the training and care of his horses. His favorite horses during the American Revolution were Nelson and Blueskin.
"...it is the General himself who breaks all his own horses, and is a very excellent and bold horseman, leaping the high fences, and going extremely quick without standing upon his stirrups, bearing on the bridle, or letting his horse run wild."
Marquis Francois-jean de Chastellux
The Skater by Gilbert Stuart
Ice skating was favored by many as a winter sport. The artist, Benjamin West was known as a strong, excellent skater.
During the weeks of Why America is Free, students enjoy many of the 18th games and sports, including hoop and stick and ninepins. A favorite unique to Why America Is Free is the Dawes-Revere Relay that involves memory, secrecy, speed, jeopardy, and accuracy. Whatever 18th century sports or games students engage in, learning to adhere to the rules and spirit of the game, good sportsmanship and respectful behavior toward all, exhilaration of physical exertion, and the satisfaction of developing skills are emphasized.
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