Friday, April 16, 2010

Patriot's Day

A favorite trivia question to ask my students was why there was a Massachusetts state holiday in April that the rest of the country did not celebrate. I would challenge them to consider why the date, which is always moved to a Monday to create a long weekend, exists.

The most common answer received, even among adults, has to do with the Boston Marathon. That however, is not the correct answer. Patriot's Day celebrates the beginning of the American Revolution with the battles fought in Concord and Lexington Massachusetts and all along the road returning to Boston.

Those who live in Massachusetts can take advantage of the local historical reenactments that occur not only around Patriot's day, but also through the summer and into the fall to reconnect with local American history. Online sites can help others reconnect with the fascinating history of the birth of our country.

Challenge your kids and yourself to sort through the myths and the legends. For instance, the poem many of us memorized regarding Paul Revere’s Ride. Poor Paul, while an amazing spymaster and a true patriot was not in fact the one who did warn the countryside as Longfellow led us to believe. He had the best of intentions. Like several of the riders, however he was stopped by a British patrol. Your children will find it fascinating to read Longfellow’s eloquent poem and then to uncover the amazing group effort that it took to warn the countryside and get them prepared to fight.

There are free online resources resources to use. Review the social studies links I have collected.

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