I went on another field trip with my fifth graders at Northrop. This time, we spent the day at the Minnesota History Museum. When I was in elementary school, I remember going to this museum. The fun thing was, a lot of the exhibits that were there when I had visited with school were still there. So I was able to walk into different places with the fifth graders and say, "Hey, I really liked this one! Let's go see this exhibit!" But before we went and explored the museum, we had an hour or so of class time where they learned about the fur trade:
This was a really neat lesson that was put together. It was very interactive and the kids loved it. They got to line up, put on the beaver skin hat, hold the other animal skins that were sometimes used for trading (beaver skins were the most coveted-- everyone in Europe wanted a beaver skin something until silk became the popular material. They got to hold some things that people who lived back then would have wanted: a trap, some food, tools, and yes, even a musket. They gave a kid a gun (unloaded, but it was enough to give me a little bit of a heart attack. People, don't hand ten-year-olds guns).
A couple of the kids got to dress up as Voyageurs (see upper left). They were taught that every piece of clothing that the Voyageurs wore had a special purpose for all seasons. They learned about the Voyageur lifestyle and it was really neat to see them get into what the Museum representative was talking about.
After their lesson was done, the adults took their small groups and we went and explored the whole museum for the rest of the time that we were there. I lucked out and got my favorite group of girls-- they read with me on Thursdays when I come and they get really into talking about the books they're reading. So here are some of the places that we visited around the museum:
There was a small exhibit about living in a sod house. Outside the house, there was a plow that you could run either as the person pushing the plow, or as the cattle pulling the plow along the rows that would later be used for planting.
|This soda fountain counter was part of an exhibit called "The Greatest Generation." The kids liked playing with the pretend food and pushing the buttons on the old cash register.|
After about an hour, we were asked to stop roaming the museum and meet up with the full class to learn about the path of a single piece of grain. You learned about how it was processed, where it went, and eventually what it was made into. Then they got to go and play for a little while before loading up on the bus to go home. I think the kids had a good day. I certainly had a good day.
Thanks for Reading!