A year of studying the War of 1812 concluded with a Historic Field Day at Patterson Park Public Charter School last Friday.
“Our fifth graders have been working hard all year, culminating with today,” said Assistant Principal Emily Augustine. “They are showing the products they’ve made and what they’ve learned.”
Students made muskets and uniforms, and even put the finishing touches on a boat. Augustine explained that the War of 1812 was incorporated into Patterson Park Public Charter’s “interdisciplinary, thematic curriculum,” and was part of all school subjects, not just history.
“In art class, they made British uniforms and British and American flags,” said Augustine. “In music, they learned to play the fife. In science, they built muskets.”
She said that the large rowboat had actually been built last year with the help of a parent volunteer. This year, students carried the vessel across Patterson Park, marching to music provided by the Junior Drum and Fife Corps of Booker T. Washington Middle School, who partnered with Patterson Park Public Charter School for the Historic Field Day. At the lake, students paddled out and back from the pier, imagining themselves embroiled in naval warfare.
The day included visits from speakers, including First District Councilman Jim Kraft, as well as the screening of a video the students made on the war.
The students said they were fascinated by the War of 1812.
“The war came right into our community,” said Gabriel Coloazo. “It’s kind of like having an outdoor museum right next to you.”
“The British turned back, even though they had more people than us,” commented James Holley. “They still knew they would lose the battle, because we had patriots defending the city.”
by Erik Zygmont