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Ichabod Crane social studies teachers are always trying to bring back students “back in time” through some means so students can understand the events that shaped our current world. One such way is the activity below that 7th-grade classes have been doing for the last few years with assistance from Middle School Co-Principal, Tim Farley.

During the age of exploration, the act of exploring was very expensive. A solution for would-be adventurers was creating a joint-stock company where a group of them could pool their money together. They could use that money to buy ships & supplies and venture out to hopefully find riches in the new world. The students “buy” shares in a stock company to earn a ship and supplies to set sail for the new world across a game board. Each day the captain of the ship checks their supplies (biscuits, water and lemon) and pulls a card from the deck. The cards are excerpts from the journals of explorers in the 1500s and students have to recall learned knowledge to get questions right to progress in the game.

However, before a ship can set sail they need a charter from their king giving them permission to do so. Here is where King Timothy (aka: Mr. Farley) comes in! He visits the classes and they negotiate their terms for a charter. They promise to name new lands after him and give him a percentage of the treasure they find in the new world.

Sometimes a class gets greedy and thinks they can get away with not reporting found treasure to the king. After all, he is across the Atlantic Ocean thousands of miles away in his palace… When this happens we often see pirates and spies appear that are loyal to the king and report the treason.