Parker’s Grade 5 students spent the night at the San Diego Maritime Museum learning and reliving what life would have have been like on a ship on the eve of the American Revolution in New England.
Students spent 18 hours on the Californian in the San Diego Bay, learning from role-playing maritime historians how to navigate the oceans with maps, how to prepare the ship’s cannons for battle, how to prepare a meal on a ship, and how to protect the ship from pirates with round-the-clock night watch.
Most importantly, the experience helped students learn that there are many perspectives on history. Maritime instructors each played characters from the period, including the captain of the ship, first mate, or the cook. Staying in character, the instructors served as a ‘living history book’ for students to interview and learn about the different perspectives that existed during the American Revolution.
“The Maritime overnight trip is a unique historical immersion program that allows our students to see and hear stories of the past through personal narratives,” said Grade 5 teacher Blair Spearn. “Students get to question and really learn from the characters themselves why they are on the side that they are on.”
The overnight trip has been a part of the Grade 5 social studies curriculum for more than 15 years. Each year is a little different, but every year students leave with the understanding that there is more to history than what is written in their textbooks.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.