Just over 1,000 Boston elementary school students in grades 3-5 participated in the Friends of the Public Garden’s seventh annual Making History on the Common on June 6th.

It was a fun-filled, action-packed day of learning. Some of the activities included:

  • “Food Will Win the War” led by educators from Historic New England, students learned about the victory gardens on Boston Common during the war;
  • Instruction on how to plant a Native American “three sisters” garden of corn, beans and squash;
  • Colonial games and trades led by educators from Historic New England;
  • A performance by the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers;
  • Mapping the Common with the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center from the Boston Public Library;
  • Participating in the use of wooden pillories for punishments in the 17th and 18th centuries and see a demonstration by the Freedom Trail Foundation;
  • A re-enactment of the valor of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the first regiment of African American soldiers from the North to fight in the Civil War. The students got to drill with the 54th Regiment, and learn about Civil War era equipment from the re-enactor soldiers;
  • A demonstration of New England contra dances, students learned the traditional dances;
  • Learning about Native American pottery, tool-making and flint-knapping with Boston City Archaeologist Joe Bagley;
  • Meeting sheep from Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester;
  • Learning about the long history of public protests on the Common and participating in a mini-protest of their choosing.

“It was great to see these kids extending their learning outside the classroom and experiencing our rich history and culture in tangible ways,” said Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends. “Making History on the Common works because it’s simple yet profound.”

Thank you to Mass Humanities and Motor Mart Garage for sponsoring Making History on the Common 2016.

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