Argh…here there be Treasure

With our study on Florida, we have covered the native peoples, the native habitats, and now we are learning about the Spanish explorers.  We’ve been talking about, reading about, and watching videos about men like Ponce de Leon and Hernando de Soto.

I’m always looking for ways to bring school alive, so I decided to take a tour at a local Museum called Gilberts’ House of Refuge. The House of Refuge is one of 10 that were spaced every 20 miles on the East coast of Florida from Miami to Daytona Beach.  The sole occupation of the Keeper of the House was to keep provisions stocked in the house, and to walk their 20 mile stretch of Beach after every storm, looking for shipwreck survivors. We are so blessed and lucky, because we live close enough to the sole remaining house to take a tour!!!!!

After our wanderings of the museum, we drove a little further (less than a mile) to my absolute favorite beach in our area…. Bathtub Reef Beach.  The beach is encircled by a reef of small worms, it’s shallow enough that the kids can walk all the way out to the reef – only they are not allowed to walk on the coral.  The kids were playing in the water, rolling in the sand dunes, and in general having a wonderful time. To our great pleasure and surprise, there were two men in the water with metal detectors!  This completely enthralled the kids as we had been watching videos all week about Treasure hunting in Florida, in preparation for our museum trip, and as part of our Florida History.  The kids approached one of them and asked what he was searching for.  They were slightly disappointed that he was looking for rings and jewelry that people had lost on the beach, but this is real life, not a movie. 😉

The next week, we thought we would make our own treasure maps.  So that’s what we did for art!!!



037This is the map that Eyes drew….take careful notice of the Kracken in the right hand corner taking the ship down.  I think we watch too many videos about mythological creatures.  LOL

036 This is Smarty Pants version.


Here is the one that Dimples made.  After they drew and colored them, they had to tear the edges to give it that “aged” look.


This is Eyes’ drawing again….while he’s coloring it.  On this one you can see he has a monster on the left hand side that lives on the land, as well as the monster in the Ocean.


After they tore the edges, they put a tea bag in water and then rubbed it gently onto the map to yellow it some.  This one is BAM!s’ artwork.

Treasure MapsAfter the tea was completely applied, we let it dry, and PRESTO! CHANGO! Instant…ahem…Treasure Map!  This is Kissy’s map.  I know, I know, her Florida looks like a finger pointing down, but at least she added Florida!!!  She was the ONLY one who did!!!

Take an afternoon and make a treasure map with your kids…it was fun, and silly, and they learned!

If you are ever in Stuart, Florida go take a tour of the House of Refuge.  You won’t regret it.  For more information, go here .

And if you are in Stuart, you absolutely MUST go to Bathtub Beach, or just check it out on the webcam .It’s a wonderful place for kids and for snorkeling!!!