P.S. Jones teacher Janna Otte (left) joins Chris Madden in a living history presentation on colonial maritime. Here, they demonstrate how crewmembers measured the speed of the ship. MONA MOORE | DAILY NEWS
P.S. Jones teacher Janna Otte (left) joins Chris Madden in a living history presentation on colonial maritime. Here, they demonstrate how crewmembers measured the speed of the ship.
MONA MOORE | DAILY NEWS

Archived Story

Living history: PS Jones teacher presents colonial maritime in costume

Published 8:58pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two pirates stormed the halls of P.S. Jones Middle School Tuesday. Both were crewmembers of the Archangel, a group of living historians who focus on colonial maritime history and the golden age of piracy from 1670 to 1730, according to their website.
Teacher and living historian Janna Otte, aka able seaman Joseph Legard, arranged the living history presentation.
“It brings history to life,” Otte said.
Students learned about life aboard a ship of pirates.
“It was fun. It was cool,” said Tomaya Bell after watching the presentation in her eighth grade class.
Bell liked hearing about the games pirates played most of all. She learned that Connect Four was very popular with Capt. James Cook, a British explorer of the period.
Pirates used their sweat cloths as a game board and gambled with dice.
Chris Madden, aka master gunner Dorian Lasseter, participates in a lot of living historian events. Tuesday was his first time visiting a classroom in character.
“We’re going to the people instead of them coming to us,” Madden said.
Otte and Madden said students asked great questions like how mail was delivered and learned the origins of such things as measuring speed in knots.
Otte is new to P.S. Jones. Principal Tracey Nixon was impressed with the extra effort Otte made in arranging for a day of living history.
“I’ve never had a teacher who dressed up like that,” she said. “She went above and beyond to make sure students were engaged.”

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