Giant white pines crashing to the ground, rivers running bank to bank full of trees heading to the mills, and eager lumberjacks making it all happen. We did not take down any giant white pine or ride logs on treacherous rivers, but we did our best to simulate and experience the life of a lumberjack in history class recently. Integrating the intellectual with the physical aspects of a historically significant industry in our region.
Splitting wood is a useful and valuable skill that we learned in history class to connect with the story of the logging era in Wisconsin. Connecting the history to real experiences is one of my goals with this activity. I find that the students are always asking for more time to split wood. They must like it.
This lesson helps students understand the rich and colorful history of the Northwoods and develop a sense of place. We also tackle environmental issues during this class and related lessons by looking at how the logging era impacted the environment in the 20th century as well as the lasting impact of how the use, or misuse, of resources altered the land.
Photos contributed by Stefan Anderson, Head of School.
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- wood splitting