A treehouse and the revolutionary war

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While on a walk on the trail last week, a group of us decided that we needed a treehouse classroom in the woods out back. We scouted for a tree, and found the PERFECT oak tree - off the path but easy to get to, not visible from the path, close to "the spot," and it has four flat and sturdy branches lending themselves to a large platform. We brainstormed steps and ideas for this treehouse, and set out to email experts to make this dream happen. We are in the process of emailing people with strong construction skills, experience with treehouse building, or information regarding city planning/legality. We outlined the components of a string professional email asking for help, then wrote two separate emails in teams.

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We ended the day with (another) mini lesson on how to write an effective email to an expert. After discussing an ideal outline, each of us chose a type of expert or a specific person to email to ask for help on this treehouse building project. We are asking an arborist, an architect, a carpenter, the founder of the Tinkering School - Gever Tulley, and a friend of mine who is a treehouse expert/enthusiast and the daughter of Pete Nelson (the Treehouse Master on Animal Planet). If anyone has any skills related to treehouse building or know someone who would be interested in helping, please let us know.

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Out at the hopeful site of our future treehouse, we used a leveler, tacks, and yarn to create a more realistic (and less slanted) prototype of where we would build our platform. It was very disorienting to find that lines we thought we level were very much not level. The tree is growing on a hill, which skewed our judgement a great deal more than we expected.

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Back by popular demand, we watched the second episode of "America: The Story of US" on the American Revolution. A few of us watched the first episode about the early settlers and events that led up to the Revolutionary War last week, then played a good ol' game of jeopardy about it afterwards. The episode today took us through the end of the Revolutionary War, and we couldn't help but play round two of Jeopardy, too. Kids were allowed to use any notes they took, and we heard advice from those who played last week like, "Seriously, the more notes you take, the better you'll do! Last week John knew all the answers because he took 5 pages of notes!"

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