Our 2nd class we studied Thomas Jefferson. Since he was one of the writers/signers of the Declaration of Independence, our activity this week was to make and sign our own Declaration. This was a lot of fun! The kids really enjoyed writing with a quill pen (feather) onto a piece of 'parchment'.
To prep for this class, I made the 'parchment' paper ahead of time, only because I new time would not allow for it in class. It was really neat, and super easy to do. Basically, you get a regular piece of white paper, tear the sides a bit, crumple it, then soak it in cold coffee for about 5 minutes, after you laid it back flat. After its soaked long enough you use a hair dryer on high to dry it. Make sure to keep it laying flat or it will break apart! It takes about 5 minutes to dry. Your results are an old looking paper!
I also took my kids to the park to hunt for good feathers to use for quill pens. The kids in class really thought it was fun to use the tip of the feather to write with! We used calligraphy pen ink to dip the tip of the feather in. They all did pretty great with it! Some of them even accepted the challenge to memorize a small portion of the Declaration of Independence in 30 minutes. 3 out of 7 succeeded! Kids brains are amazing!
Up next: Andrew Jackson