Our Stories

Colonial History Comes to Life at JPDS-NC

December 16, 2015 by Adina S (’17) (Students)

The Fifth Graders at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital have just finished their Colonial History unit. For a few months, the students learn about the founding of the colonies and about famous figures such as John Winthrop, John Smith, and the Kings of England. Then, each student chooses a colonial profession such as a printer, cooper (barrel maker), pharmacist, or blacksmith, along with many more options. Students not only research their professions and learn how to do these jobs, but also create biographies and decide how their characters came to the New World (America) and what hardships they came upon as they became colonists.

As part of the research of the Colonial Unit, the students also took a trip to Mount Vernon, where they saw craftsmen who would have worked for George Washington, such as chandlers (candle maker) and seamstresses. They also took a tour inside George Washington’s mansion, where they got a sense of how a rich man would live in colonial times.

Then, they hosted a Colonial Village for the school, where Fifth Grade students dress up as colonists who work the professions they do, and pretend to be part of a town in the New World called Jamesport. Students from all other grades come and learn how to be a colonial cobbler, or schoolteacher, and much, much more. All in all, the Colonial Unit is one that creates excitement and fun within all of the Jewish Primary Day School.