Friday, January 23, 2009

Colonial Fair, 2009

You might remember that last year's big fourth grade project at my kids school was the re-enactment of the Oklahoma Land Run. Costumes, wagons, cardboard houses, vittles, land surveys, and an actual "RUSH" to claim land ..... ahhhh, good times.

This year? Fifth grade?

Colonial Fair.

(Good God Almighty, does it ever end at this school???)

The kids did whatever kind of studying of colonial times they DO in Social Studies class. Then, each child had to make an informative poster of one aspect of colonial living ..... complete with photos and an "attractive" border. We chose colonial food and printed pictures of dour-faced women sweating in ginormous hearth-fireplaces while dinner cooked over the fire. Certainly no Hamburger Helper back in those days!

Then each child had to come up with a costume to wear the day of the fair. Luckily, I remembered from when Brayden did this last year what most of the boys wore, so Kellen's costume consisted of his Sunday shoes, Blaine's white hunting socks, black baseball pants, a white oxford, "lace" at his wrists which were really made from coffee filters, and a tri-corn hat. If this costume looks remarkably similar to his Halloween costume, well, you've got a good memory because he wore the exact same thing. Might as well get my money's worth, is my motto!

My favorite part of his costume was that I convinced him to let me put his hair in a "queue" .... hey, if you're going to grow it this long, might as well put it to good use for your costume.

He and two of his classmates put together their booth for the fair. All fifth graders set up their booths in the gymnasium the night before. You had to bring your own table and have whatever you were selling clearly marked on a poster or sign. Many booths sold food and/or drinks, some booths sold candy. Some booths sold marbles, candles, rag dolls, yarn toys, etc. There was also a few booths of games of chance and/or skill.

Personally, I thought the buckles on the shoes made out of Reynolds Wrap was an especially nice touch.

Each grade level came through the gymnasium for about half an hour and got to browse the booths, spending their money how they wanted. Nothing could sell for more than five cents. Kellen and his friends sold corn muffins for two cents, beef jerky sticks for two cents, a small cup of rootbeer or apple juice for three cents ... OR, their genius marketing strategy, a "combo meal" involving all three, for five cents.

Here they are, hard at work:

In addition to teaching the children about Colonial Life, the event is a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Pennies for Patients campaign, and all monies earned at the Colonial Fair is donated to that cause.

As best I can figure it:

The baseball pants cost eight dollars.

The hat cost fifteen dollars.

We spent about four dollars (and three hours) making corn muffins, and spent almost six dollars buying wood and paper to build the sign over the booth.

Chance's mom spent probably close to ten dollars on beef jerky, plus provided plates and cups and the gloves.

Jacob's mom spent at least ten dollars on root beer and apple juice.

The boys worked for over two hours; probably sold half their drinks, sold all the beef jerky, and hardly sold any corn muffins. (Well, of course not. There were candy and cookies and brownies at other booths ... if you are seven years old and you have twenty-five pennies in YOUR pocket, are you going to buy a stupid corn muffin or a cookie???)

I would estimate they made three dollars in pennies.

Hey Social Studies teacher, what do you say two years from now, when Kendrie is in fifth grade, we SKIP the Colonial Fair and I just donate ten bucks to Pennies for Patients? I think it would be a LOT less work for you and me both.

(Kidding ... it was fun. And if last year they re-enacted the Oklahoma Land Rush, which took place in 1907, and this year they re-enacted a Colonial Fair of the early 1800's .... and they continue to rewind history by 100 years at a time, then by the time they are seniors in high school we'll be back to the Dark Ages and I can just send him to school in a fur pellet, carrying a club.)


Thanks to all of you for your kind and encouraging words regarding my spawn of Satan children yesterday. Always good to hear I'm not alone! Today went much better .... thank goodness. I have officially removed the "For Sale" signs from around their necks and told them they can come in off the curb.

Good thing, too, because it was just in time to make HELP Kendrie make her 3-D biography poster and book report of Sacagawea, with "fun items from around your house!"

Yeah. Because that's JUST what my 9-yr old is capable of doing .... thinking up an idea for a 3-D biography poster and implementing it with household items.

Lest you think we did ALL the work, here is proof she helped:

And here is the final product, complete with braided yarn hair and a pipe cleaner necklace. 3-D enough for you, teacher???

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get started gathering supplies for Brayden's cereal-box-biography-project.

Remind me again why I wanted my kids to go to this school???

(Ps. I'm kidding --- I love this school!)

(Pss. See what I mean about people I know read this blog and I'm hesitant to say anything negative, even when I'm joking, because you just KNOW some people can't take a joke and will get their knickers all twisted and before you know it I'll be labeled the "Mom who complains about everything" .....)


Anonymous said...

Your school is crazy w/the projects. But I give you lots of props on the poster, very inventive! REmind me to ask you for ideas if I ever have a project like that.


vgsmom said...

I've often had those same thoughts of this school that I love. Of, course I only had to do each project once. Then I'm dropping off Jenna at school Tuesday behind one of her classmates who is carrying in her completed cereal-box-biography. It's freaking January 20! This is not due until February 26!

sportzmom said...

Love the coffee filters for the lace on the cuffs...great idea. Now, I'll just have to remember it the next time I need a costume! Hey, can you still get caffeine free diet dr. pepper? They don't sell it around here anymore.

Unknown said...

you are making me scared about all the upcomming projects around the corner.

my daughter did do a diaroma (sp?) about polar bears and igloos last week. she's in kindergarten. luckily, she did it in school.

SuperSuz said...

Ugh! I hate the projects - especially the ones you know that the kids can't do by themselves (like a scale model of Jamestown in 3rd grade - argh!). We're doing a poster on Sea Otters this weekend and then we have to do a 3-D model (NOT a diorama) of a scene from some book he's read. Yay me!

Enough about me though ;-) You and Blaine did a great job with the projects/costume!

Anonymous said...

If I had a kid who had to do all that, I would no longer google for ideas, I'd come straight here because you've done all of them by now. You're a way better mother than I would have been if our public school had assigned all those projects. We barely got through the fourth grade CA mission project and my daughter's grandfather was the lead in that one. CA

Anonymous said...


Just kidding, my kids are not old enough yet to do projects like this at school, but when they are, I will come back here for ideas!

I loved the poster and Kellen's costume, esp. the hair!

Hope Blaine is doing okay!

Love and Prayers,
Kristy in WV

Anonymous said...

Although I think there are way too many projects and costumes- at least your kids school is trying to make it a bit more interesting to learn some of the boring stuff. :) ::SHRUGGING:: But I get that it is a total pain for the parents. The poster for Kendrie's project is very cute and creative!

Anonymous said...

Hehehe...about the kids & your awful day - I'm impressed you were even going to try to SELL them.....there are days where mine are "Free to Good Home" - I'd cut my losses and run!!! :) :) :) :) :)
(Kidding......kidding!!!) Glad things are better!! And AWESOME costumes!!!

katy said...

Great ideas! Our church youth started a no bake sale tradition. When they need money they tell their parents that either they all donate money or they are having a bake sale. Everyone brings money.

Coachdad said...

Great costume! That was an awesome project... your pretty impressive, where do u find the time?

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again--- Your school is SO, SO cool!!!!!! Any ideas on class treats for a 100th day of school party or 100 items that can fit safely in a 1st graders book bag?

Marie said...

Hey, I love Kendrie's poster. My idea of a 3 D Sacagawea poster would be to take a Sacagawea dollar and paste it on poster board!


Anonymous said...

1. Kendrie's project is awesome!

2. The coffee filters are awesome!

3. The word "awesome" is awesome!

M said...

...seriously as a kid I would have eaten all those corn muffins! If there's one thing I like more than chocolate, it's bread...especially corn bread with honey butter it's even betterer!

Great job on the costume...actually even better than the Reynolds Foil shoe buckles is the classy baseball socks with the stripe :)

I think as a member of the PTA you should implement a teacher dress up day...ya know, since they like ti so much!

Tammy said...

Whine whine whine! I joke, you do have some great ideas! And please, don't tell Kellen I bout busted a gut when I scrolled down and seen the picture...nothing you had said gave me this hurge thou, no it wasn't anything you Hugs from Fort Worth!

Alisa said...

I am laughing, complaining with you-
I feel like every time I turn around there is another project/dress up day to figure out. But you know what?
If we were to move (or one of the kids does not get transferred)... (besides family) the kids school is what I will miss. I really really would miss it.
Right now we have a china report, an igloo science project, and the upcoming cereal box thing ...
(and missing school next week so extra homework-woohoo!)
oh - I grew up here and remember doing the landrun (I read your landrun post) at Tulakes Elementary every year.
And I saw you today but did not get to "see" you-