Need some ideas for teaching students about George Washington? Here is what I did!
First, I made a somewhat life-size George (I was inspired by this one for Abe). His head is a little large but his height is accurate. I had him laminated too. If you do this, you will have to cut George at the neck and ankles to fit him through the laminator. For morning work, I had an interactive display where the students had to identify what coin GW is on, find him in two historical photos (one of GW leading the Continental Congress and the other crossing the Delaware River), and write two questions about what they wanted to know about him.
The next morning, I moved George to the hallway and measured the students' heights next to GW. I would ask the students questions like, "Who is tallest?", "Who is the shortest?", "Who is taller than you?", "Who is shorter than you?", "Who is the same height as you?", etc. This was a great introduction to measurement, which the students will be learning more about in a few weeks.
Then, we had our second virtual field trip to Mount Vernon. The children met with a storyteller, who was dressed in colonial attire, and listened to her tell the story of George chopping down the cherry tree. After the story, the students had an opportunity to ask the storyteller questions (they used the questions they had written from morning work) about GW. Here are a few of the questions the students had:
Where were you born?
What did you do for fun?
Did you go to school?
Did you wear a puffy wig?
You can schedule a virtual field trip to Mount Vernon through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. There was a miscommunication from the staff at Mount Vernon about the program we had been expecting to participate in but the program we did see was done well. The storyteller was enthusiastic and involved the children through the story.
How do you teach students about famous Americans?