Early American Pioneers and Patriots...that is the focus of our history for 1st grade. We will spend the year looking back at early settlements, pioneers, and important events from 1565-1800s. As we are reading from our living books, I talk with Old Crow about creating a picture in his mind. We try to have a mental picture of the people and places we are reading about. Actually visiting the places and seeing reenactments of famous American events will help solidify his learning (and it doesn't hurt for Mom and Dad to review either). The first week in our Heart of Dakota (Beyond) guide focused on the Spanish Pioneers Settling St. Augustine. So we decided to plan a trip to St. Augustine!
Our first visit was to Fort Matanzas...a fort built by the Spanish to guard from the invading British. A short ferry ride delivered us to this wonderful piece of history.
We were met by a Spanish soldier who began our tour by stating the requirements for becoming a Spanish soldier...Old Crow met one. He has at least 4 teeth! (Can you imagine?!?)
We got up close and personal with the cannons. We learned they could shoot over a mile, and just the gun itself weighs over 3000 lbs. So the soldiers used a pulley system with ropes to get it on the fort.
Inside the barracks were the beds and fireplace...with a big iron kettle just like we read about.
The boys took a peak from the guard's tower.
Our next visit was to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. This is the site were the Spanish created the first settlement in 1565. On the site we found a Timucua Indian village...those the Spanish encountered when they came to the New Land. We saw how they once lived and hunted. The boys loved seeing him practice with the bow and arrow. He also demonstrated the use of an atlatl...a hunting tool that came before the bow.
We also saw Spanish cannons and watched a cannon firing demonstration. El Fuego!!
Just for fun we also threw in a visit to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, miniature golf, and of course the beach!