A Trip Back in Time


Last week we traveled back in time to visit Setauket, New York, in the year 1778. Well, we didn’t really travel through time, but we felt like we did!

We participated in a videoconference with the Ward Melville Heritage Organization in Long Island, New York. They presented a program called “Windows through Time: Journals of Revolutionary War Spies”. We learned about the Setauket Spy Ring, which operated undercover delivering important messages to help the Patriots during the American Revolution. Members of our class participated by pretending to be members of the Setauket community; some of us played ordinary townspeople and some of us were spies. It was really interesting to learn about all the ways the spies delivered their secret messages, all without the British soldiers suspecting a thing. The presenter made us feel like we were really there! Thank you, Anna!

Videoconferencing is a great way to visit places and make connections with people we wouldn’t be able to meet in person. This was our first videoconference of the year, and for many of us it was the first one we had ever experienced. We learned some tips for making a videoconference successful, and we took photos and drew pictures to illustrate our tips. Here is our Voicethread showing what we have learned so far:

We’re looking forward to doing lots more videoconferencing this year, and we will be adding to our Voicethread as we learn more.

Did you know there were Patriot spies during the American Revolution?

Have you ever participated in a videoconference?


  1. This is so exciting. I love seeing what the class is doing every week.

  2. Mrs. Hamman,

    I’m so happy to see new classes getting involved in blogging! It’s such an amazing tool and I think both your students and you will love it!

    I think you’re definitely on your way to a great start! It looks like you’ve got some amazing projects going on in your class and I look forward to seeing what else you do throughout the year!

    Mr. Avery
    Mr. Avery’s Class Blog

    • Dear Mr. Avery,

      Thank you for your comment! We will keep visiting your blog throughout the year. We’d love to learn more about how you do your green screen videos!

      Mrs. Hamman’s Class

  3. Those are great tips. When I taught 4th and 5th grade we did a cool DL. You had to give a report about where you live – without naming your state or town. After both presentations, the groups did research for 30 minutes. When we came back together, you got to ask 5 questions. Then we had 10 minutes to use those answers to finalize your answer about the other school’s location. It was great fun.

    • Dear Ms. Herbert,

      What a good idea! That sounds like a great way to learn about other places and make connections with other classes. Thank you for your comment!

      Mrs. Hamman’s Class

  4. Hello Mrs Hamman and class,

    Your trip back in time seems to have been a wonderful activity. Nothing impresses the mind more than when we feel a part of the history we study. Videoconferencing allows us to travel far while still being at home and school.

    Your journey was set back to 1778. For Australia, such a journey would be very different. In that year, no Europeans had settled in Australia. Only the various language groups of the Aboriginal people were here. The first European settlement did come until 1788. You can see, our written history is much shorter than that of the USA. Australia only officially became a nation in 1901.

    I hope to be able to check your blog ore times in the future to see what you class is studying. I enjoyed reading this blog post.

    Ross Mannell (teacher)

    • Dear Mr. Mannell,

      Thank you for providing us with information about your country’s history. We usually think of the USA as being a “young” nation, but now we realize Australia is much younger! We appreciate your comment on our blog.

      Mrs. Hamman’s Class

  5. Really cool I like what you did with the voicethread. I thingk that the video conference was really fun beacause I got to be in one of the parts where I was a spy who would take notes of loyalists and write them down in invisble ink. Some of the parts were cool beacause it felt that we were actually at a tavern or a bar and having a real conversation with a girl who’s name was Nancy.
    Do you have any blogging friends that we could try to video conference with?

    • Robby,
      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed being a part of the conference. Yes, I have quite a few classes I’d like us to collaborate with this year. Wait and see!
      Mrs. Hamman

  6. When we did the kites it was hard but we had a lot of fun. I liked when everybody moved and me and Armando went through with my big kite. We had to try like 20 times to get the hang of it. Then we got the hang of it. We got it at least 15 feet in the air. I had a fun year this year. Have a fun year everybody!

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