We have been learning about life in the 1800s in Michigan. Mainly about the settlers and how many arrived in Michigan via the Erie Canal and how Michigan became a state in 1837. The little kids really love reading and talking about Michigan history and they always make great connections and ask good questions. It's fun to watch the little wheels turning in their head as they understand big ideas and generate more questions to help them learn.
So today, as we sat on the back carpet talking about how tough (and different) life would be in the 1800s in Michigan, I directed their attention to a picture in their book of a pioneer woman pushing a plow.
"If you lived as a pioneer in the 1800s, everybody worked," I explained to them. "The men, the woman, and even the kids! Boys and girls your age would have had chores to do every day that kept them busy," I explained. The pain on their faces was evident. The thought of working all day had them worried.
"Life as a pioneer was tough," I added. "You had to cut down the trees to build your cabin, plow the fields to plant, make your own candles, wash your clothes by hand, and make all your food."
They looked displeased at the mere thought of a life so drastically different than their own. So I said it again for affect. "Everybody had to work!"
"Even the baby worked!" interjected one little one, pointing to the baby in the picture.
"Yeah........ he worked on a nap!" said one funny boy. And it was quite clever, so we all had a good little chuckle.
I don't know exactly what it was, but something about that picture with the napping baby, and my classroom of little cuties, had me smiling the rest of the day.
Sometimes, it really is the little things.