Over 750+ 3rd through 5th grade students in Boston eagerly attended one of the most innovative field trips that happens in the city: the 13th Annual Making History on the Common. This event, which brings centuries of history alive in an interactive way, was hosted by the Friends on Monday, June 6th.

Some of the activities included:

  • Colonial games and trades led by educators from Historic New England;
  • Instruction on how to plant a Native American “three sisters” garden of corn, beans and squash;
  • The Ancient Fishweir Project and performances and education by the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag;
  • A demonstration by the Freedom Trail Foundation of the use of wooden pillories for punishments in the 17th and 18th centuries;
  • Goats from Silk Fields Farm grazing on the Common, as a demonstration of past practices;
  • 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;
  • New England contra dances for the children to learn and dance;
  • Exploring propaganda and patriotism when Victory Gardens were planted on the Common during World War I;
  • Mapping the Common with the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center from the Boston Public Library;
  • A mini-protest led by students to demonstrate the powerful history of public protests on the Common;
  • A demonstration of Native American tool making and flint-knapping by Boston City Archaeologist Joe Bagley;
  • Viewing the line of blue survey flags marking the pre-colonial shoreline along the Charles Street edge of the Common.

“It is 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. “The students are engaged and connect with historical events in a fun way when they attend Making History on the Common.”