Monday, October 20, 2014

American Girl Club: Meet Caroline

This month our American Girl Club learned about Caroline, an American Girl from 1812. As usual we started out discussing Caroline and her stories. The big focus of Caroline's stories is, of course, the War of 1812. I had to do a lot of explaining about this for several reasons: 1) The group of 3rd-6th graders that attended skewed a little younger this time. 2) Caroline is still a relatively new American Girl character. She was introduced in 2012. 3) The War of 1812 doesn't appear to get a lot of attention in schools. The kids were familiar with the American Revolution so I tried to build on that.

Here is our table with Caroline books and handouts.

After our discussion we took a quiz to determine which character in Caroline's stories we are most like. I made this quiz two years ago when Caroline first came out, based on a quiz on the American Girl website. The overall consensus was that most of us were like Caroline, which of course made all the attendees happy!

Because Caroline loves to sail, next we played a nautical version of Simon Says called Ship's Captain. I found it among the playground games listed on Games Kids Play. I highlighted the commands I thought would be easiest for the kids to learn and had each "captain" take turns picking from them. The obvious favorite was "SHARK!".

Next we made ships based on a template found on the American Girl website. This template has unfortunately been removed from their website. After coloring the ships we raced them by blowing on them. This also turned into a teachable history moment: "You know back then ships didn't have engines and could only move by wind power."

As usual we ended the program with snacks. I chose gingerbread cookies and cider because Caroline eats both in the books. Baby carrots were also included as a healthy addition to snacktime, because Caroline and her uncle's family rely on the vegetables grown in their garden.

Here are some pictures of the kids' boats and dolls. The dolls are a totally optional thing, but the kids seem to love bringing them:

The next girl our American Girl Club is focusing on will by Julie, from 1974. Be prepared for some groovy fun!

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