“Our annual pilgrimage to D.C. is always an 8th grade highlight for many reasons. Students get a chance to see first-hand the places, documents, and monument we’ve been studying all year creating strong connections between the theoretical way we studied how our country works in the classroom and the actual reality of nation and its history. Walking up Capitol Hill, strolling through the Smithsonian, or staring up at Lincoln’s imposing statue are all provide experiential opportunities that aren’t easily forgotten.
But the memories made and lesson learned on this trip aren’t just relegated to history and civics experiences. There is the day we spent hiking in the Shenandoah where some of our students encountered their first bear, the feeling of accomplishment linked to making it to the top of a two story climbing wall, or the lesson in moderation that our stop at the Golden Corral buffet helped teach. Teachable moments are all around us, especially on a class trip.” – Mr. Fester
“This was a great trip for adults as well as students. Our nations capitol has the most interesting and diverse set of museums in one location I have ever seen. I was thrilled to be a part of this groups experience and the students were great to be with. They seemed excited and engaged throughout the trip. Many students expressed awe during our visit to the caverns in VA as well. As a teacher and a Mother, I would recommend this trip to all 8th graders in the future.” – Ms. Ebanks
Let’s have some science with our history adventure! If you went to DC with us, you quickly realized it was so much more than a history lesson. This awesome trip perfectly paired a history of the United States, with a history of planet Earth! As if that wasn’t enough, the experience bonding students with teachers, and students with students, has produced memories that are going to last a lifetime for both teachers and students alike. A big shout out to all the people who went on this epic trip, and a bigger shout out to Mr. Fester for coordinating and executing the adventure of the year! – Mr. Redding
“D.C. was a wild ride! It was an action packed few days, but was a lot of fun (and informative). The 8th graders study U.S. history in 8th grade, so there really is no better place to show them then Washington D.C. It is a delight to see them making connections between what they have been learning and the various sites, museums, and monuments we visited while there.
For me, teaching 8th grade social studies for the first time, I too felt a deeper connection with the places we toured. Highlights were seeing the ridiculously funny play Sheer Madness at the Kennedy Center, which is quite the beautiful place. Visiting George Washington’s magnificent home atop Mt. Vernon, where the kids got to see his mansion as it was when he lived in it, even down to the bed he slept in. It was great seeing the kids soak in so much valuable history. Another place we visited that really shook the students was the Holocaust museum. I had a lot of great discussions with the students while there, and they were so dialed in, curious, and appalled by those horrible events.
I really enjoyed going because it is rare to interact with students outside of the classroom, where it is much easier to bond and build relationships. All in all, it was a solid trip, and everyone left with some good memories, and perhaps even a little more knowledge!” – Mr. McMullen