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Gr. 4^-6. This wide-ranging guide offers ideas and instructions for activities related to colonial America, along with a smattering of information about the colonies. Projects include tying sailors' knots, steaming clams, learning colonial manners, dyeing a shirt, stitching a sampler, and playing leapfrog. Some of the activities lead children to a fuller understanding of the era, while others (making liquid soap from scraps of bar soap) seem rather tenuously connected to that time and place. With 66 projects, recipes, and games, the coverage is broad rather than deep. Students and teachers may want to use this for ideas, then look to more detailed sources for better instruction in skills such as knitting (done here with pencils), quilt making, or planting a garden. Carolyn Phelan
Laurie Carlson is the author of Colonial Kids, Westward Ho!, More Than Moccasins, Green Thumbs, and Kids Camp! She has taught preschool, primary grades, and children's art classes. She lives in Cheney, Washington.