I have been wanting to start this segment of my blog for awhile. I incorporating a strong piece of literature with a Moffat photograph and a primary source document in as many of my lessons as I can. It's hard to go wrong when you have the primary source and a Moffat photograph!
One of my favorite parts about visiting a National Park site is chatting with the Rangers. The Lincoln Home Rangers were a delight. It was wonderful to hear about Michael's time at the Statue of Liberty and his joy to be at the Lincoln Home. Ranger Peter proudly stood by the handrail in Lincoln's home that visitors get use as they climb to the second floor.
Moffat was fortunate enough to view the painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
In 1814, James Madison was the president of the United States and the US was once again at war with the British during the War of 1812. President Madison left the White House to visit troops, advising his wife, Dolley, to be ready to leave the White House at a moments notice. On August 23, when she received word for evacuation, she ordered the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington to be saved. The frame was broken (it was bolted to the wall) and the canvas was rolled and evacuated before the British troops occupied and burned the White House. Due to the damage, the Madisons were never able to reoccupy the White House again.
Virginia State Capitol Website and Virtual Tour
I either tie my studies to our geographic studies of the states or to our timeline studies when I am planning. This extended study on George took place while we were studying VA (the week was packed as there is SO much to look at).
Moffat's friend, Zerah, gave him some royal treatment earlier in the winter and my kids truly enjoyed the photographs. Mount Vernon continues to expand the visual choices for the virtual tour. As it is impossible to actually take my students there, this offered a rather amazing substitute. They enjoyed having the ability to investigate rooms, rotate to see various angles and have more information available about the artifacts in the room.
Since I use an interdisciplinary approach in my classroom, drawing Mount Vernon using shapes seemed like such a natural crossover into math (we had been studying decomposing shapes in our math unit). I am always amazed at what students can do if you have them follow you step by step. All of the Mount Vernons had their own distinct look, but one could definitely tell which historic landmark had been drawn.
I really enjoyed combining our books and research with Mount Vernon's online resources with our classroom art. The students were completely engaged and my only regret was that I wanted more time!
If you have not seen the amazing Mount Vernon virtual tour, click the link below to see more!
Moffat was fortunate enough to visit Mount Vernon recently with Manager of Educational Resources and Outreach, Zerah Jakub. On his tour, Moffat enjoyed some VIP treatment. His photographs were an inspiration for my students to take a closer look at the architecture, gardens and fashion of the time. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts inspired by his visit. Please click on the link below to learn more about Martha from Mount Vernon.
This video clip from Kids.gov, Martha speaks of her grandchildren, Nelly and "Wash", the newest fashions of the time and the new treat called ice cream. Click on the link below to learn more from Colonial Williamsburg about how to make ice cream.
I have no memory of going to a National Park as a child. Now, it is something I treasure. The NPS's Junior Ranger program is an engaging way to encourage learning during an adventure. Please take the time to expose your young children to the amazingly rich sites our country has to offer!
Click on the link above to access the NPS Junior Ranger information from the National Mall
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