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Colonial Day brings the 1700's to life for second-grade students

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Dominick Ruggiero, Sean Derrick, Dylan Baker make their own candles by dipping rope into melted green wax.

December 10, 2013 -- Jackson Heights second-graders literally stepped into their social studies curriculum as they experienced life in the 1700's during Colonial Day in November.

As a capstone to the students' study of the colonial time period, they got to hand-dip wax candles, practice writing with a quill pen and ink well, perform traditional tin smithing activities, make butter and corn bread, and play colonial games. Teachers Amanda Clough and Sue Williams even set up a colonial school.

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"The activities make it more real for the children," says Mrs. Clough, noting that she enjoys the students' enthusiastic -- and sometimes surprising -- reactions. "You would think in the era we live in that the children would find making a top or using a spoon, string and button for a skill game to be boring," says Mrs. Clough. "But the kids love the simple toys they made."

At left, Brooke Bennett dips a quill pen into an ink well to practice writing as a student in the colonial time period.

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PTA volunteer Cathy Sweet helps second-graders Kayleigh LaBeet and Aiden Wiggins make cornbread and butter.

"Colonial Day is one of my favorite days of the year," says Mrs. Clough. "It's also really nice because we mix both second grade classes. The kids get to be with more of their friends."