History came alive for Oakwood 4th grade students as they started their first of three days in the Sacramento Valley at Sutter's Fort. They learned about the historic fort by touring the various rooms and talking to guides dressed in period clothing. The next stop was the EarthTrek camp in Coloma, where they listened to a talk about the arduous journey many took in pioneer times to the region, learned how to tinsmith, panned for gold, sang songs and played old-time instruments, and heard tales from a real mountain man.
Day two started with a moving and inspirational presentation by Shining Star, a Native American from the Miwok tribe, whose message was one of harmony with Mother Earth. The students then made leather and bead pouches with a pioneer woman and played games. The afternoon was spent exploring Sutter's Mill and Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, followed by a vaudeville show at the Olde Coloma Theatre, where some of our group got in on the act.
The third and final day of our 4th grade students' field trip took them to Sacramento, where they started the morning touring the California Capitol Building. They talked about the three seals in front of the building, visited the Governor's office, explored the museum exhibits, viewed the county displays, and discussed what happens in the Senate and Assembly and how laws are created. The next stop was the Old Sacramento Historic district, where they did some shopping, had a lesson in the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum and visited the Railroad Museum. These activities tied in nicely with their history and literature curriculum, and helped them connect with what they have learned.