When what was once a story comes to life!
Patriots Day is the culminating event of the student experience. All they have learned in the preceding weeks becomes real to them as they live a day and a night in the middle of the American Revolution. Younger students are thrilled and awed by the 4th or 5th graders in 18th century dress and deportment; they cannot wait for the day they will be able to do the same.
As the day begins, adults and children converse about realities and problems they are facing in the ongoing war while boys study and recite Latin, practice deportment, and train for the militia.
Girls hone social skills, discover that polite visiting over tea proves a valuable method of gathering and sharing information, and sew shirts for the soldiers.
They are immersed in life during the fight for national independence.
In the afternoon students give a program of reenactments, songs, dance, and poetry for the younger students and the community. All involved in the program are in costume, often made by parents from donated fabric and reused year after year.
This day sets the stage for the Evening Reception.
The Evening Reception — Discovering the true price of freedom
This night, all that they students have learned becomes personal and real to them. After candle-lighting time, they arrive at a reception. Once inside, they discover the gathering is a cover for a much more important purpose and that if they stay, they may be in grave danger from British soldiers in the area. The choice to stay or leave is theirs. All who choose to stay then hammer out important plans, have a light repast, and at the last slip through the dark to meet with a soldier from Washington’s camp.
Their bravery is rewarded.
The soldier challenges them to remember the last line in the Declaration of Independence… We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
After Patriots Day
The American Revolution is won, the Treaty of Paris is signed, and then begins the hands-on-study of the CONSTITUTION and the BILL OF RIGHTS.
The students are invested. They understand the language of the documents, the principles embodied them, and the sacrifices made to establish a government based upon them. They WANT to understand these documents and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.