North Columbia Elementary fourth-graders got a taste Friday of what life might have been like for George Washington, Paul Revere and Betsy Ross during the Revolutionary War era.
The pupils got to taste tea, create spy letters, make stew and flags and play Revolutionary War-theme games on the Internet during a project that was a culmination of their study of the war, said Amanda Chack, a fourth-grade teacher at the school.
"We're trying to make them a little bit better understand what life was like back then," Chack said. "We're doing some tea tasting, since the Colonist loved their tea."
Elizabeth Thibodeau, 9, said she liked the chai tea the best out of the four flavors they tasted - chai, lemon, mint and regular.
Most of the tea tastes, however, ended with the pinched faces of pupils who do not love tea.
"It tastes gross. It is so gross," said Chanel Taylor, 10, of the regular tea. "The regular tea usually has sugar in it and it didn't have any sugar."
Because much of the communication during the Revolutionary War was done through spy letters to avoid letting important information fall into the hands of the British soldiers, the pupils used a water-cornstarch mixture to write a secret message.
Ten-year-old Jessica's Dorn's message - "I Rock" - came through loud and clear when the iodine and water solution was applied to it.
Pupils used their musical knowledge of the song Yankee Doodle in the Yankee Doodle Dash Relay. The class was divided into two teams that had to go to a board one pupil at a time to place a randomly selected word of the song's lyrics in the right spot.
"You have to race up there and you try to get the whole thing in there," said Rachel Edwards, 10. "You have to go one word at a time."
At the end-of-time buzzer, Rachel, who was next in line, rushed to the board to complete the song lyrics for her team.
"They are actually learning that today, we consider (Yankee Doodle) a patriotic song," Chack said. "But when it was written, it was actually written by British soldiers to make fun of the Colonists.''
Pupils cut up vegetables to add to George Washington's Philadelphia Pepper Pot Stew, "a stew that might have been eaten by George Washington and his soldiers at Valley Forge," Chack said.
Graphing the results of the tea trials and measurements in the stew recipe brought in the pupils' math skills, she said.
The fourth-graders also made their flags like Betsy Ross might have.
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