American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 1

March 11, 2010 at 7:36 am (Uncategorized)

For week one of Addy we started out with the question "Why do we study history?"  The girls threw out a few good observations and then we talked about this quote:

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
George Santayana

We talked about how whether the part of history we are studying is "good" or "bad" that it is important for us to know about it and learn from it.  Some parts of history are fun and easy to study.  Other parts of history are difficult and uncomfortable to study.  But all parts can teach us something and hopefully what we learn will help us not make the same mistakes twice. Then I reminded the girls to be sensitive to each others feelings and to talk to their parents about any questions or concerns they have.

Next one of the girls read Genesis 1:27 for us.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

We discussed how the Bible clearly says we are all made in the image of God.  And therefore we are all of equal value to Him.  And should treat each other as if we all have equal value.

Next I asked the girls what they had for breakfast that morning.  (I know that seems random, but stick with me. ;^)  They all had fun trying to remember and telling what they had eaten.  Then I asked what they had for dinner that night.  Again they all shared.  Then we talked about what Addy says she had for both breakfast and dinner in book one…Cornmeal mush.  Here are the ingredients for cornmeal mush:


WOW, none of us could even imagine that being our families main food!  We also discussed the possibility that she didn’t mention what she had for lunch because she may have NOT had anything for lunch. For snack we had cornmeal mush.  I got the recipe HERE.  It came out pretty much like very plain grits.  (The girls that liked grits, liked it and the ones that didn’t, didn’t.)

For craft we made a cowrie shell necklace and a kerchief bundle.
Both of these items are super simple and actual items Addy has in book 1. 

Addy’s shell necklace is given to her by her mother as they were in the process of escaping slavery.  It was a reminder that the love she carried in her heart would help to give her strength and courage.  It was made from a shell handed down from her great grandmother who had it with her when she was kidnapped into slavery from Africa In the book the necklace was strung on a shoestring that belonged to Addy’s older brother who had been sold along with her father.  (The catalyst that sent Addy and her mother to escape.) So for our necklaces we kept them simple too.  Each girl got a cowrie shell and a yard of thin black leather cord.  We put the cord through the pre-drilled whole, tied the 2 cords in an overhand knot right above the shell.  Then we used adjustable knots to finish up the necklace and make it adjustable. The only took a few minutes to make, but the girls will really enjoy having them I think.  I made one for me too and have been wearing it as a reminder to pray for the girls as we work through our study of Addy.

After we made our necklaces I read the girls the book The Listeners.  This is a book about 3 slave children that help out their parents by listening to what is going on in the masters house.  They spend every evening, after a long day at work, sitting outside the window of the big house.  Then they carry important information back to their parents.  I also showed the girls pictures of some slave quarters I found HERE.

Next we made our kerchiefs that can be tied into a bundle.  For this I gave each of the girls a piece of fabric cut with pinking shears into a 20" X 20" (ish) square.  Then I showed the girls how to tie the ends together to make it into a bundle.  My daughter also showed them the bundle that she got with her Addy doll for her birthday.  It also had a small gourd in it that Addy would have used to drink from and the half dime given to her by Uncle Solomon in book one. 

Next I read to them the book Under the Quilt of Night . This is a book about the Underground Railroad.  It is beautifully written and illustrated. I also read to them the first 7 pages of the Welcome to Addy’s World book.  This talked about slavery, the Civil War, The Battle of Manassas, and the promise of Philadelphia for escaped slaves. 

Last but not least we worked on the worksheets for our American Girl Geography Notebooks

We added 5 pages for Addy:

The United States map  (We marked N. Carolina and Penn. to show where she started out in the book and where she was headed when she escaped.)
North Carolina

Liberty Bell dot to dot
Independence Hall Coloring Sheet

It was a full and busy night.  I think we all learned a lot and the girls did a great job listening to and discussing this difficult material. 

You can read the rest of the plan for Addy HERE.

Happy Homeschooling,



1 Comment

  1. Jennifer said,

    If you or any of your AG Moms are interested in furthering your discussion of the Underground Railroad, the National Park Service has a Junior Ranger Activity Book that focuses on the Underground Railroad. After the girls complete several activities (how many depends on their age), they send the booklet back to the NPS, and will then receive a patch in return. You can order booklets by writing to:

    National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program
    National Park Service
    601 Riverfront Drive
    Omaha, NE 68102

    Unfortunately, they are not available on line.

    My boys (ages 6 & 8) have been enjoying the activities. We too read Under the Night Quilt. It WAS a beautifully done book and I would second your recommendation!


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