Chapter 4 in The Story of the World Volume 3 deals with the struggle to look for a Northwestern passage. Hudson and Champlain are the main heroes of the two stories in the chapter. I did not exactly have the milk cartons required to make the craft boat – we drink non-dairy milk which comes in a totally different shaped-carton.
So I set the kids on an adventure with LEGO people and boats. We used white LEGO bricks as the floating cakes of ice mentioned in the stories, an expression which made them laugh. Cakes of ice? They kept repeating it. This is why we read extensively. They learn new ways to use words and to put them together.
They barely colored and I did not insist. They have been coloring a lot of history sheets lately and we don’t need to drive this activity into the ground.
The best moment for me during the history class was when my daughter heard Hudson wanted to sail to India by going over the top of the earth. “Wait!” she started. “The top of the earth?” Her eyes thoughtfully rested on my eyes for a quiet second. And then she burst out, “He is going to Santa!”
I laughed for a few minutes. We all did. She started explaining how she connected things in her mind. “The top of the earth is the North Pole. That’s where Santa lives! Hudson is going to Santa!”
I made a point to remind them their violin teacher lives in Quebec. They should tease her about the first colonists being beggars and convicted criminals. They said they might mention it. I also asked them, “Should we not be thankful that all these explorers have gone before us? Our lives are so comfortable now here in North America. These people sacrificed everything in order to find a way toward global trade.” They appeared thoughtful, so hopefully some realization of our blessed stated is sinking in.