Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Field Trip

We took the boys Here yesterday and had a picnic lunch Here. As field trips go, it was better than average, if that can be judged from the essays they wrote for me.

I knew if I didn't assign these they would become preoccupied with the automatic soap dispensers in the bathrooms and completely miss the museum (I was right. I headed that one off as the pass).

I am often amused at what each boy takes away from educational opportunities like this. Last summer we took them to the discovery center at the Buffalo National Park. There was lots of hands-on learning opportunities, but what did my sons get excited about? Identifying animal scat. That's right, poop. They spent an hour playing guessing guessing games with each other over which belonged to what animal.

This time the results were a little better.

Daniel fixated on the cannons the Union troops hid on an island, but no one ever found. He and his father, ever the treasure hunters, would love a crack at finding those.

Samuel was fascinated by battlefield surgery. He stood in front of that exhibit reading about the primitive approach to removing bullets from soldiers' wounds.

Joseph, my history buff, was into it all, but his imagination was especially fired by the story of a farmer whose only sin was in not having any money so the soldiers who raided his farm decided to hang him. Fortunately, his wife was on the scene and cut him down just in time.

The best story of the day was of the sisters who stayed up all night sewing an American flag, then hid it in one of the sisters' petticoats. When the Union army marched into town on July 5, 1861, the sisters were standing in a small crowd. Just as the troops passed them, the sister jumped up on a nearby fence post and pulled up her skirts to show off the flag. This brought cheer from the troops and greatly strengthened their resolve.

Of course, they lost anyway, largely because the ratio was six Confederates to every one Union soldier but when they retreated ten hours later, they had very few casualties. They'd marched twenty miles to get there, slept very little, got up and fought for ten hours, then marched another thirty-four miles to another battle scene.

Our next field trip will be Here. I think we'll try and combine it with a camping trip.

1 comment:

Scotty said...

Sounds like a good day, Mary.