By Chelsea Fuller
The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN -- History leapt off the pages and into the hands of the eighth graders at South Middle School who learned about the French and Indian War through an innovative game.
Darialouise Collins, a West Virginia Studies teacher at South Middle, was preparing her lessons on the French and Indian War when her teaching assistant Phil Caskey, a secondary education master's student at WVU, suggested a creative game that would allow their students to recreate pivotal battles while learning history.
"Phil ordered 140 authentic toy soldiers that represented the British Red Coats, the Native Americans, the French and the Colonial militiamen," Collins said. "He had the students paint them according to how they would have actually looked during that time."
After three or four days of painting their soldiers and completing research on the subject, the students played a two-day game that recreated historical events, including the ambush that the French and Native Americans sprung on British Gen. Edward Braddock as his troops traveled to Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, officials said.
"Once the painting was done, I brought in a table top to recreate the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755," Caskey said. "We re-created the battle perfectly using trees, sand for the roads and other items."