The Farm and the Virginia Standards of Learning
With a visit to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, you can make several S.O.L. connections in a fun, active way that children will remember. Below is a chart detailing the S.O.L. connections for both a self-guided Farm visit and the Farm Skills program. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
(The following information includes excerpts from the document Crosswalk of Common Content, Commonwealth for Virginia, Department of Education, Richmond, Virginia 2001)
Standard of Learning
Connections to the Farm (Suggestions)
|Standard VS.1 —The student will develop skills for historical and geographical analysis including the ability to:
||»Compare the farm house and the family’s clothing and possessions to those of the children. (The house is small, the clothing and other items are handmade, there are not many possessions at all!)Compare the Farm Skills activities to their modern equivalents: machines verses hand-driven tools. (Machines grind corn, card & spin wool, weave cloth, make candles. Electric bulbs are used now in place of candles. Computer & video games often take the place of handmade games.)|
Piedmont (land at the foot of mountains)
*West of the Fall Line
|»This is where the Farm is located.|
Water features were important to the early history of VA.
Each river was a source of food and provided a pathway for exploration and settlement of Virginia.
*Flows into the Chesapeake Bay
*Alexandria located along the Potomac River
|»Ask the farm family how the Potomac River is important to them, and what resources they obtain from it. (They catch fish in the river; it is also used for transportation of people and goods. The nearest tobacco warehouse is located on the Potomac.)
Find the jar of salted fish in the farm house. (Seasonal.)
|Standard VS.2e [LIKE THE AMERICAN INDIANS, THE SETTLERS…]
… interacted with the climate and their environment to meet their basic needs
Climate in Virginia: The climate in Virginia is relatively mild with distinct seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter—resulting in a variety of vegetation.
Forests, which have a variety of trees, covered most of the land.
Adaptation to environment [The colonists adapted to the environment in much the same way that the American Indians did.] The kinds of food they ate, the clothing they wore, and the shelters they had depended upon the seasons.
Foods changed with the seasons [like the American Indians, the farmer here does the following]
*In summer, they grew crops (beans, corn, squash).
*In fall, they harvested crops.
Shelter was made from materials around them.
|»Look at the corn field (seasonal) for its arrangement of corn in hills with beans and squash around it.Name the nearby materials that were used to construct the house.(Wood, pine pitch, water & lime for the whitewash, mud & straw for the chinking.)Ask the farmer or farm wife how much land they rent, and how much of that land is still woods. (100 acres, most of it woodland. For comparison, the corn and wheat fields combined equal a little more than 1 acre.)|
|Standard VS.3b [LIKE THE COLONISTS AT JAMESTOWN, the farm family needed a good supply of fresh water]
(One of the reasons the Jamestown settlers chose the site they did was that they believed they had a good supply of fresh water.)
|»Find the farm family’s water supply. (The spring is located on the map, next to the kitchen garden.)Why is a fresh water supply important? (There are no pipes or electricity to bring water from somewhere else.)|
|Standard VS.4a The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by
a) explaining the importance of agriculture [and its influence on the institution of slavery]
The success of tobacco as a cash crop transformed life in the Virginia colony [and encouraged slavery].
Terms to know:
*Cash crop: A crop that is grown to sell for money rather than for use by the growers.
*The economy of the Virginia colony depended on agriculture as a primary source of wealth.Tobacco became the most profitable agriculture product.
Tobacco was sold to England as a cash crop.
|»Ask the farmer why he grows tobacco. (It is how he pays the rent and purchases necessary supplies for his family.)Do most of his neighbors grow tobacco? (Yes.)What does he do with the tobacco after it is harvested? (Takes it to a tobacco warehouse in exchange for tobacco notes that he can use as currency.)|
|Standard VS.4b Cultural landscapes reflect beliefs, customs, and architecture of people living in those areas.
Whenever people settle an area, they change the landscape to reflect the beliefs, customs, and architecture of their culture.Examples of cultural landscapes include
*Places of worship (e.g., churches)
|»Ask the farm wife why there are clapboards on the house, rather than the plain log cabin. (They protect the main structure of the house, and people of English descent were brought up in clapboarded houses; plain logs were too “primitave”!)Imagine how the structures would look different if the residents were not English colonists, but were from another cultural group. Examples: woodland American Indians (wigwams), plains American Indians (tipis), and so forth.|
|Standard VS.4d The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by d) describing how money, barter, and credit were used.
Money was not commonly used in early agricultural societies.Terms to know
*Money: A medium of exchange (currency, which includes coins and paper bills)
*Barter: Trading/exchanging of goods and services without the use of money
*Credit: Buying a good or service now and paying for it later
*Debt: A good or service owed another
*Saving: Money put away to save or to spend at a later timeFew people had paper money and coins to use to buy goods and services.Barter was commonly used instead of money.
Tobacco was used as money. A tobacco farmer could use his tobacco to pay for goods and services.
Farmers and other consumers could also buy goods and services on credit and pay their debts when their crops were harvested and sold.
COLONIAL VIRGINIA HAD NO BANKS.
|»Ask the farmer or farm wife how they usually pay for things like rent, cloth, salt, etc. Ask what they do if a neighbor has something that they need. (They pay rent and purchase necessities with tobacco notes, and barter with neighbors when they need to.)Ask the farmer what he does when he does not have the money on hand to pay for something. (Purchase goods & services on credit and pay the debts when the crops are harvested & sold.)Ask the farmer or farm wife to show you some money. Why don’t they have very much? (Coins and paper currency were not commonly used.)|
Tobacco farming was hard on the soil, causing many farmers to look west and south for new land to farm.
|»Ask the farmer why he rents so much land, when very little of it is farmed at a time. (He frequently needs to clear new land for tobacco.)Ask the farmer how long he can grow tobacco on the same land.|