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History comes to life at Pine Ridge Elementary


On Monday, September, 28, Pine Ridge Elementary students enjoyed a very special visit. George and Martha Washington dropped by to talk to the third grade students and help them launch the Freedom Week problem based learning activity.

The nation’s first president and his wife invited the guests into their “home” at the Pine Ridge media center to discuss life in the new world and the frustrations that led to the discontent and rumblings of a revolution.

Hearing the story being recounted by the Washingtons captivated the students.

“History came alive as George and Martha, in period costumes, bantered back and forth about the events of preceding the revolution. This was an engaging launch activity for a wonderful unit of learning,” said Stephanie Mayuski, principal.

The project is based around the state of Florida’s mandate that students receive instruction on the Declaration of Independence and the beginnings of our nation. Each grade level has a different driving question and students work collaboratively to learn while covering curriculum learning standards in reading, social studies, and speaking and listening. The driving questions are:

  • Kindergarten:  What should I, as a dissatisfied English Citizen, pack in my suitcase for my trip to the New World?
  • First grade:  How can I, as an English Colonist, help establish a community in the New World?
  • Second grade:  How can I, as a colonist of a particular colony, show others how I live and survive in my colony?
  • Third grade:  How can I, as an influential patriot, convince the colonists of our need to be a free nation?
  • Fourth grade:  How can I, as a Loyalist or Patriot convince others to join my cause?
  • Fifth grade:  As a soldier in the Continental Army, will I stay and fight at Valley Forge or return home to my family?

 Last year Pine Ridge started a tradition to study the state mandated Freedom Week event. Each year, as the students move to the next grade level, their learning spirals up and extends from the year before. By the time students leave the school, they will have a comprehensive understanding of our nation's beginnings.


The culminating event, “Night at the Museum:  Birth of a Nation!” is Tuesday, October 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The school campus will be transformed to a museum and student artifacts will be displayed. The public is welcome to attend.