Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Week 10, Marlborough School

November 15, 2011

Stake your claim!

To prep for today I brought 24- 36ft sections of twine; 24 wooden stakes, numbered in sharpie; and 24 copies of the deed terms from the big white Village guide book.  We began by talking a little bit about the Homestead Act of 1862 and how our game models this distribution of land.  We read through the deed agreement, line by line making sure everyone understood the expectations and responsibilities that accompany the boundary string.  When all of the students had signed on we headed out to the acre.

Armed will stakes and twine, 22 kids charged into the forest!  It was not unlike the cover scene from The Last of the Mohicans.   The  rest of the period was spent staking claim to mini acres of land.  Some kids chose land simply because they liked the property.  Others chose to claim land near friends.  While others had some politics at work and encouraged their class mates to claim all in one area for the purpose of establishing a stronger clan.

When we went back inside, one student was very concerned (to the point of hostility) that anyone would claim land near the "river".  His point of view wasn't really shared though, those that chose wet land defended their choice by stating that their home might hang from a tree or that it might be built on stilts.

Today's class went very smoothly.  No one fell in the stream and no one got hurt.  All in all I think the kids are quite happy with their land choices.  We did find some old barbed wire in the forest, I will be revisiting the acre before next class to clear it.

The custodian said that we could borrow rakes, so next week we'll set up fences and clean up our land.

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