History: Valley Forge

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I have no idea who gave me the idea of Valley Forge.  I think it was a comment I saw, but one of the places in New Jersey is Valley Forge.  During the Revolutionary War George Washington spent one very cold winter there and lost a lot of soldiers to frostbite and other problems.

EDITED TO ADD: So, I didn’t do as through a research as I thought, Valley Forge was definitely not in New Jersey, sigh.  I swear when I was doing all that looking up it was.  Oh well, now I know, better fix that.  It’s still a cool book.

But, I found what was the coolest book ever…….  Or, so I thought.  My kids didn’t get quite as much from it as I was hoping, but it was a little old for them.

It’s an interesting concept, and is based somewhat in history, or close enough.  As General Washington is walking the camp he sees a soldier lighting a candle one cold winter night and chanting something he doesn’t understand.  The soldier goes on to explain to him the story of Hanukkah and the two of them draw parallels between the Maccabees battle and their own struggle against the British government.

Like I said, I LOVED this book.  The older kids really enjoyed it and were able to get so much more from it.
After reading it I pulled out a simple Venn Diagram and had the kids each draw or write one thing that was different about the two wars, and one thing that was the same.
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My kids drawings all prominently featured pictures of people missing toes, fingers and whole limbs from frostbite.  That’s about what they got from it.  And then they spent the rest of the day telling me about how they were going to lose body parts from the “bitter bitter cold.”

Ummmm, not so much guys, it was 80 something then.  Not anywhere near cold enough, but good imagination.

So, they may not retain much, but I’m sure it was an interesting study.

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10 thoughts on “History: Valley Forge

  1. We might hit that part of history at about December. Might work out just perfectly. You were kidding about the 80 degrees, right? They keep calling for snow here.

  2. That does sound like a neat book to teach some parallels. 🙂

    I think there is a Valley Forge in NJ, but the historical Valley Forge is in southeastern PA…near Philadelphia and NJ. It doesn't appear to spread into NJ, but the battle may have back then. It of course doesn't change the importance of the lessons from the book, but I just thought I'd explain that…hope you don't mind.

  3. Interesting because when I did my research on New Jersey it said this happened there, so that's why I included it. Now, I'll have to look into that more……

  4. That book sounds really interesting. The warmest weather we've seen in MA so far was one blissful day when it got up to 62! It's still freezing (or close to freezing) nearly every morning!

  5. That book sounds really interesting. The warmest weather we've seen in MA so far was one blissful day when it got up to 62! It's still freezing (or close to freezing) nearly every morning!

  6. That sounds like a very interesting book. I find a lot of books like that – I love them and see so much potential, but the kids latch onto one little thing and that's it. At least now they know what frostbite is. Maybe this should have been a science lesson!!

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