Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Harriet Tubman extras -- crafts and music

To support our African American/Harriet Tubman block we are, of course, enjoying as much music and crafts of the time period as we can. To provide more of a community type support for the kids, I am teaching a 6 week class on Harriet Tubman for our Monday Homeschool Classes -- in that class we are doing period-appropriate crafts (like these spatter-painted music book covers), learning the spirituals that were sung by slaves in the field and on the Underground Railroad, cooking and eating foods that were available to Harriet and her family, and experiencing a bit of what living like a slave was like (the kids made those burlap smocks they are wearing). The itchiness of the burlap against their skin made a huge impression on the class, without me ever having to say a word about it.

We also took the boys to see Nzinga's Daughters, an African American Woman's a capella group that presents songs and stories from the Underground Railroad. They are an immensely talented group, put on a wonderful show, and just the experience of these women singing these songs really brought the topic to life for my kids.

In one part of the show, they told a story while some volunteers helped act it out. J is on the far left of the clump of actors (in front of the right side of the stage).

Our favorite support piece in all of this has been the beautifully sung CD, "Steal Away: Songs From the Underground Railroad," by Kim and Reggie Harris. We all love listening to it and singing along.
We also love "I've Got Shoes," by Sweet Honey in the Rock.


MM said...

Are both your kids involved in your homeschool living history class this year?

Harvest Moon said...

Yes, they are both taking the class this year. Since we're working more deeply at home with the materials, nothing I'm doing is over Zoo Boy's head, even though my cut-off age for the class is 8. (There are, however, two other 7 year olds in the class by my permission, with parental support in the class.)