- Grade Level:
- Third Grade-Fifth Grade
- African American History and Culture, Archaeology, Architecture, Architecture (Building Styles and Methods), History
- 1 class period
- Group Size:
- Up to 24
- National/State Standards:
- tabby, slave quarters, archaeology, Cooking
OverviewThe students will have an opportunity to learn about the historical building technique of making tabby by constructing crispy bars.
Objective(s)After completion of the activities and site visit, students will be able to:
1. To understand the processes of tabby construction.
2. To explore the different ways the slaves contributed to life on a plantation.
3. To experiment with different construction materials.
4. To build a block of "tabby" [crispy bar].
BackgroundBegin with Project Archaeology lesson on how humans adapt to meet basic needs. Contact the Florida Public Archaeology Network or Project Archaeology:
MaterialsMaterials Needed include:
• Krispies recipe
• Sketch of tabby building process
• Tabby slaking video on Timucuan Preserve website
• Krispies ingredients (cereal, butter, marshmallows)
• Project Archaeology lesson on how humans adapt to basic needs
1. Talk to students about the process of making tabby.
a. Show photographs of the slave quarters
2. The slaves at Kingsley built the slave quarters from materials found on site.
3. Brainstorm with students if they had to construct a building, what in their immediate environs (kitchen, park, beach) could they use to construct a house.
Building Blocks – Materials and Mortar
1. Using an item familiar to all of them, breakfast cereal, talk with students about how the flakes are similar to the oyster shell used at Kinglsey, and how they are different.
2. What else is needed to make the flakes stick together?
3. Talk to students about different mortars they may use.
4. Show the tabby slaking video from our site.
Making Tabby/Constructing a Slave Cabin
1. Either make rice krispies bars if time allows, see the recipe on the next page, or use packaged ones.
2. Talk about long term effect of sun and rain exposure. If we put this bar in the sun or rain, what will happen to it?
3. If time allows, make bars in outline of a slave quarter and also experiment with adding a second layer. What are the challenges to getting the layers to stay in place? What are possible solutions? Would the same challenges exist if making really tabby? (Not only does the tabby mix have to hold together, each layer has to bond with the layer below to create a solid structure.)
4. Use tabby brochure
The activity is designed to draw parallels between making the rice krispies snack bars and making a tabby wall. The process of gathering materials in precise ratios (both the snack bars and tabby require a recipe), mixing, evaluating, and building the blocks is similar. Identify with the students the ingredients needed for the snack and for tabby. The table included in the materials section is a place to begin. Have the students also fill out the worksheet to follow the building process, this will help them make connections between the process of making the snacks and the process of building a tabby structure.
ExtensionsArchaeologists and architects love to experiment with how things are made- it helps them understand not only the building process, but the builders themselves. Discuss other famous experimental archaeology examples: Bill Rathje and garbology, Time Team's recreation of waterhenge. (Do a web search.)
Vocabularytabby, archaeology, process
Last updated: April 14, 2015