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Lakeview students cook up a hardy holiday stew for Colonial life lesson
Abigail Child, left, and Jackson Hutton make preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner prepared by students at Lakeview Academy. - photo by Photos by TOM REED

They may have been dressed in modern clothes, but a group of Lakeview Academy students recently got a taste of Colonial life.

As has become a tradition, the Gainesville academy’s fourth-graders cooked a feast to learn more about how the Pilgrims would’ve have done it for the first Thanksgiving.

"This was our 12th feast. Every year it’s a little different, but the basic thing is that we always cook outside," said Sharon Briggs, a Lakeview fourth-grade teacher.

"The goal of the feast is to give them the opportunity to experience what it was like to prepare things in Colonial times."

From gathering kindling for the fire to peeling vegetables, everyone had an assignment to complete before they could eat.

"It’s all highly supervised, but the children do all of the preparation," Briggs said.

"They had to debone the turkey, cut the vegetables and build the fire ring. We even made our own butter to put on the bread that nurse (Carol) McClendon made."

Once all of the ingredients were prepped, they were put into a big pot and cooked over an open flame outside.

While the food was cooking, the students watched a bread-making demonstration and played Colonial games.

They also made Colonial-style toys, like dolls made from scraps of fabric and clothespins.

"It’s a very hands-on learning process," Briggs said.

"It’s wonderful exposure for them."

After all of the activities were over, the students were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor — turkey stew.

"They just raved about it," Briggs said.

"A huge part of the enjoyment they get is knowing that they made it. The stew is good, but the best ingredient is their participation."