Thursday, December 10, 2009

George Washington: General, President AND Farmer

Near and dear to his heart were his troops, the new nation and his wife and family. Also at the top of George Washington's list was his beloved Mount Vernon. In Farmer George Plants a Nation you’ll learn how the operation of this plantation was never far from his mind, even when he was filling his obligations as general and president. It's also a great lesson in analysis. You can practically see his cogs turning as he designs a plow that does the work of three men, experiments with different fertilizers to improve the soil and dreams up a unique wheat threshing barn. It's a refreshingly different view of George Washington that is punctuated with actual notes from his diaries. The wonderful illustrations depict Washington as a very involved large estate holder and do not hide the fact that he was a slave owner as well. I recommend this book to everybody, but especially to the child who is into gardening and composting.

Ages 9-12

Activity: Here is an amazing free online virtual game, George Washington's World for Kids. I found it at the George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Garden website. I really felt like I was walking around Mount Vernon and talking to the people there. You can go into the main house and through it and around the grounds. My heart about stopped when I bumped into George Washington himself on his front porch. In order to play I had to download some free software (Unity Player) but it was easy to install and well worth it.

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