Welcome to Colonial America, 1776

(Year 5, Week 11)

“Top of the morning to you” the governor said as he greeted the heroes for the session. Accompanied by music of the 1700s, the heroes entered a transformed studio, and were challenged to play a game called “Colonial Acton.”

Stepping back into colonial America, the heroes were chosen randomly to either play the role of a loyalist or a patriot. Over the course of several days, the King sent Royal Proclamations imposing his will on his “subjects.”

Over the course of a few days, the tyrant King George issued some grievous proclamations (see picture below), but eventually it was unbearable to these defenders of freedom.

Proclamation 9, which removed free time, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They had finally decided to stage a revolt.

In the game, the chances of winning the revolution are not great. On the roll of a die, a 1 or 2 wins the revolution, but a 3,4,5, or 6 not only loses, but represents the days where penalties must be borne. The penalties are also rather severe. If a revolution is won, another roll determines if the Loyalists (which many had converted to over the last few days) would be charged with treason.

With each hero committed to the revolution the die was rolled…

2! The revolution had been won!

But would the loyalists be charged? Another roll was tossed…1!

They were not charged with treason.

After winning the revolution, the heroes spent time reflecting on the experience. While nothing could ever help an individual truly understand the sacrifices made for the freedoms we now hold sacred, many heroes shared a new found appreciation for the people who sacrificed their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. At Heroes Academy, we look to heroes like those who sacrificed all for the economic, political, and religious freedoms we now possess. In a very intentional way, the foundation of the studios at Heroes Academy embrace these freedoms and the great trust the founders of America put in the American people.

With all the commotion of Colonial Acton in play, the heroes have also spent time this week preparing pitches to present at exhibition. They’ll be pitching whatever pet they think the studio should have in this session’s Pitch-A-Pet Writer’s Workshop. This week, they have been researching pets and brainstorming ways to appeal to the audience in the form of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Some pets being researched are parakeets, mice, hamsters, fish, and even a hermit crab. Heroes who don’t want a pet have the opportunity to pitch something outlandish like a wolf or a dolphin.

Constraints for the studio pets:

  • Pet must be cared for by the heroes, not guides
  • Pet must generally not cost more than $100 up front and per year
  • Pet must not be a distraction to the studio

This week the heroes spent time discussing what it means to be an independent learner, and how to be more resourceful, learning to figure things out on their own. When pressed about the role of a guide, many heroes were very firm that guides do not answer questions, because “in the real world,” one hero shared, “we will have to figure things out on our own, so learning to figure things out now is important.”

The role of guide is not to be the source of all information in the studio, but to create an environment where the heroes can support each other and solve their own problems. So to help the heroes be more resourceful and for the guide to practice offering support but not answering questions, the heroes and guide played a game. Every time a guide answered a question a tally would be received. On the other hand, every time a hero asked a question (without trying to solve the problem in 3 different ways on their own first), the heroes earned a tally. The winner would have the least tallies each day.

Regardless of who has won each day, the studio has become even more learner driven this week as the heroes have been practicing becoming more resourceful and solving their own problems.

With writer’s workshop as the main focus this session for exhibition, the heroes are spending more time focusing on fun and connection during this session’s Christmas Quest.

At quest launch, the heroes decided they would like to spend time doing Christmas crafts and activities, as well as have some opportunities for service.

So far they have made ornaments, decorations, place mats and notes for Meals on Wheels, and launched a Secret Santa within the studio.

The heroes also decided they’d like to create blankets for foster children. They rounded up 150 hero bucks (which represents roughly 300 hours of work in the studio), to make a purchase of materials from Amazon. They will be making the blankets sometime next week. It was powerful to see the heroes so excited to give of their own resources to serve others in need.

The Christmas season is full of lots of joy and gladness, of which there is no short supply in the studio. But it’s even sweeter as we remember the sacrifices of those who died that we might be free. If nothing else, this week, the heroes have felt a bit more gratitude for the freedom and trust they have been given.

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world → http://heroesacademy.org