What a day! Due to crazy winds in the area, we were without power for all but an hour of our day. The artifact analysis was one of the scheduled things I got done today. Anyhow...
I have made it new goal for the year to start each day with the students either looking at a primary source or and artifact and discussing it using the "see-think-wonder" model. This was our artifact today.
Most often, I have my images connect to other studies going on (crazy idea, right?). This week we are studying Mississippi and Tennessee to give you a clue. This person's birthday is also coming up next week (my kids can see the birthdays on the calendar). Her image is also hanging in my classroom.
Guesses? These shoes belong to Dolly Parton when she joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1969. They are displayed along the with dress and the lyrics to Jolene in the same display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Along with the image of the artifact, we then watched the video of Dolly performing at the Grand Ole Opry in 1969. I encouraged my students to note the styles of the hair and clothes, as well as the cameras, while they were watching the video as they are representative of change over time.
I have opened a new area in my classroom for thinking titled "What's In A Museum?" I want the kids to come to the understanding that museums can hold all kind of things. I am going to be providing sticky notes for them to add their thoughts and ideas along the way. Today's lesson is the beginning to some new thinking and I am looking forward to it!
The holidays are over and we are all returning to our regular routines in the classroom. As I spent some of the work days in my room organizing, it was a new month and time to redo the calendar of course. For years as a primary teacher, I had different numbers and themes to match each month. However, I have now simplified my calendar to a simple "old school" look but I celebrate different birthdays and events for the kids to learn from. It's my sneaky way of tucking yet one more book in! Ha!
Just look at the January images above! Talk about some historic icons to read about. As part of our morning routine, the students each receieve a mini sticker to place in their planner and we follow up with a book or short video clip of the person. It doen't take much effort, but I see my kids make new connections everyday. I believe it is important for the kids to be taking this information home to their parents and make further connection for learning. I have had parents admit to me that they don't know about some of the people that we learn about!
Please see below for some of my favorite books/videos for the people above. Trust me, this is a simple and engaging way to pour more information into our kids in a fun way!
If you would like to see my full calendar kit that I have designed including images above and the entire year, you can find in in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
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I just returned from seeing the movie Jackie with a dear friend and fellow historian. We love going to see history movies together. I highly recommend taking the time to go see the movie if you have not done so already. As we watched the movie, we were both moved with the obvious emotions for the loss the country must have felt. I was also taken by feeling the power for the sense of place.
The premise of the movie is the week following the shooting in Dallas. Jackie has invited a journalist to Massachusetts to hear her recollection of events. Aside from scenes from the immediate days following the shooting, there are many scenes from the tour that Jackie hosted on TV of the White House, as well as musical events held in the White House.
Travel is very important to both my husband and I and I feel blessed that we have been able to see many historic sites with our family. Several years ago, we visited our son while he was living in DC for a residency. Arlington Cemetary had been on my list for several reasons, the least of which is its significance in honoring those that have given their lives for our country. When I learned more about the history of the Arlington House itself, it only added to my desire to visit. The visit did not disappoint.
Sense of place is very powerful. I have felt it as I stared at the Statue of Liberty for the first time, at the Gettysburg Battlefield and walking through the town of Concord, Massachusetts. All places have history, but some are more moving than others. I believe it is important to be in these places.
According to the Arlington National Cemetary, the President had visited the cemetary on several different occassions, two of which were on Armistice Day. On a separate visit to the Lee-Custis house, the President admired the view from the house believing he could stay there forever. Mrs. Kennedy's choice for the burial site was also contingent on her belief that "he belongs to the people."
If you have never been to Arlington National Cemetary, add it to your bucket list. I believe it is a place that all Americans should experience. Our history is important and experiencing it through a sense of place is invaluable.
My kids know me. I was quite delighted to receive this photo of one of my current students visiting her grandma. She found this White House Christmas ornament of Teddy Roosevelt. She wanted her mom to send it to me!
On Monday, one of my students came to me and asked if I kew about the Christmas tree Teddy had in the White House. He was hoping to trick me, but to his surprise, I was able to respond and told him that TR did not allow a Christmas tree in the White House.
If you look closely at the 2011 White House ornament, you can see that the Christmas tree that the Roosevelts are looking at is actually in the closet. Being the conservationist that he was, Teddy did not approve of having a cut tree in the White House. His sons, Quentin and Archie, surprised the family on their second Christmas in the White House by cutting down a small tree from the White House property, decorating it and placing it in a closet in the same room the family opened gifts.
Love that my students find fun learning even on a Christmas tree!
I am super excited about this post as one of my current students has been exploring Williamsburg today. For the last several weeks, we have been studying folk art and writing our own stories around the Prince exhibit at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. The students have created their own folk art animals and have written Prince narratives, all the while focusing on character, setting, problem and solution.
We are preparing for our first museum night showcasing our art and writing.
In addition to the folk art piece, the students are learning about the trades and clothing of Colonial Williamsburg. They are studying vocabulary and comparing and contrasting both the trades and clothing over time.
So...when my student, Arianna, and her family were going to DC, I of course suggested a side trip down to CW. I was also excited when my dear friend and CW education staff member, Lisa, was was able to meet the family for lunch. I only wish that I could have been there to see the look on Arianna's face when Lisa showed up with Moffat of Williamsburg. Of course, Arianna and Lisa hit it off with their Moffats. Moffat is an amazing social object that breaks down barriers and opens doors.
I am thankful that Arianna and her family were able to enjoy the living history of Colonial Williamsburg. I am looking forward to having her back to have her share her adventures with the class.
By far, I have to say that my favorite type of art is folk art.
By definition, folk art is art that is created by an untrained person. Both my husband and I are drawn to it and our own house has become a resting spot for many pieces over time.
Every year, at this time, I have an itch to go back to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico. The photos above and the video below are from the Santa Fe Folk Art Museum. I know that this draw has to do with many fond memories from several trips there during this time of year. There is something very alluring about being there every fall.
In my own classroom, we are currently working on a writing project inspired by folk art from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum in Colonial Williamsburg. For me, it matters not where the folk art comes from, I just love it.
I look at the pieces and I wonder...
Wny did you create this? Is there a story? Did you ever imagine your work would be in a museum or part of someone's collection?
Objects tell stories. The stories could be from the creator or from the collector. They are stories.
What do you collect? What inspires you? Why?
Since I discovered last week that the majority of my kids do not know who Kid President is, I am showing several videos a day up until the election. I love his positive messages and the kids LOVE his dancing, goofy antics and don't forget, the raspberry noises he makes (we had to talk about when that is appropriate). I am going to spend part of my evening making a new Youtube list for the days leading up to the election.
I am more familiar with his older videos so I spent some time viewing the new ones. I came across the Totally Awesome Historic Sleepover held in the National Archives. Listening to the back story while KP met the National Archives archivist, David Ferriero, was intriguing. Apparently, he wrote to the President when he was a kid and when he took over the Archives, someone on staff found his original letter and had it framed for his office. It seems, if you write a letter to the President, it remains in the Archives. Happy to say that I have a letter there!!!
I was intrigued by Kid President's comments on wanting to make history. He has some ideas on how he can make history, Being the first man on the moon is out, electricity is out, as is writing the movie Space Jam or the musical Hamilton. So instead having a totally awesome and historic sleepover in the National Archives under the Declaration of Independence was going to be it. .
In closing, Kid President shares that all stories are important and that we add to our history everyday. We most certainly do Kid President and I want to thank you for your contribution.
It's #MuseumMonday, although I didn't have any kids to share my artifact with as it was a teacher work day.
I wanted to share my favorite camera from my vintage camera collection. I can't say why this one is my favorites, other than the fact that I love it's compact size. I used this photo during an online class through William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg for teaching with museum exhibits.
As a child, I could always tell where my mom was in a crowd as all I had to do was look for the first flash of a camera. Mind you, I grew up in the 70s and my mom used the sad Kodak 110 camera. It produced a large collection of grainy memories. I'm not complaining, the pictures exist, which is more than many people can say. I am thankful that my mom had to mindset to capture my childhood on film.
My grandpa, Andy (see above), was also a photographer and a traveler. I like to think that I am much like him. I am currently looking for a Bantam camera like he used to add to my collection.
When teaching with objects, there are several approaches to take for instruction. Most commonly, I find myself simply having my students describing the artifact, hypothesizing what it may have been used for and who used it, and then how has it changed.
This summer, during the application sessions held during the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, we were introduced to two alternative strategies for object based learning. One approach is to take a type of object that has evolved through time and note how it has changed. Cameras are a great option to do this with. Toys, telephones/cell phones or countless other objects could be looked at from this view point. Our local history museum uses this approach in the local photography exhibit at a hands-on teaching cart. Children (and adults) are encouraged to look at a set of 5 cameras and put them in chronological order. The docent then asks how the participant came to that conclusion.
Another strategy is to look at the story of the object coming from the perspective of that object. I particularly think this would be fun with a camera. I think about my own cameras and the thousands of photos I have taken. What would it say about my perspective? The lighting? The subject? The settings? Would it have a favorite series of pictures and why?
For cameras that have captured tumultuous times, what would it have to say? Or the camera of a fashion designer or on a movie set? This type of approach challenges our students to look at an object through a different lens (no pun intended).
Challenge yourself to try some new strategies rather than falling into the same routine. Object based learning is powerful and has so many teaching opportunities to take advantage of.
I am happily sitting down from a long day of teaching in my new library. My husband has been a tremendous help with all of it, including the finishing touches. I am fortunate to have such a wonderful place to work (although I wish the sun would stream through the orange fall leaves right now).
As I was sitting down, I had no idea what I might write about today. I sat in my chair, looked out at the gorgeous fall view outside my room and the blog that I was reading yesterday popped back up.
We are all making history. We need to remember that. It may not be in grand ways that dance across the cover of a paper or make the evening news, but we all make history. We cause change.
Many years ago, I believed I wanted to be a principal or other administrator. BAH! No desire to do that now. That is not me. I know where my strengths are and where my passions lie.
I love history.
I love to travel.
I love to teach kids.
With this being said, my website, Moffat's Travels, was born. Today I had a delightful conversation with a parent that will be traveling to DC with her family. They have been many times before and she and I were sharing itineraries in the area. She was trying to decide between Gettysburg or other Pennsylvania sites. I suggested Colonial Williamsburg.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to travel with summer teacher scholarships. I have been to been to Chicago, Monterey, Philadelphia, Springfield, Gettysburg, and Colonial Williamsburg on teacher scholarships. I have traveled to many major cities with my own family. I love all of it.
I loved being able to share some of the insights into these places and what might interest their daughter. As an educator and a travel fanatic, this brings me great pleasure. I may not move mountains, but I open doors to young minds. I open those doors daily through my teaching, private conversations and the opportunities I take advantage of.
That is my history.
wife, mom, teacher, author, history nerd and the lady that carries around a rabbit