In recent years, many school systems have embraced place-based education as a way of immersing students in local heritage, cultures, and learning opportunities, while simultaneously encouraging students to work across disciplines in an authentic environment. The Woodstock History Center provides support through a variety of educational programs.
The 4th Grade History Fair
For over a decade, the Woodstock History Center has supported the Woodstock Elementary School’s efforts of integrating place-based education into its curriculum by organizing and hosting the Woodstock Elementary School History Fair. The fourth-grade class is broken into small teams of three to four students, with each team having its own mentor, who acts as a facilitator and guide. Over a six-week period, these small groups and their mentors meet three times a week, with each group investigating a different local history topic.
The History Fair program culminates with the students taking what they have learned during the exploratory phase and creating a project that can be shared as part of a History Fair. Projects run the gamut from game shows to plays to more traditional slideshows and presentations.
Hands on History
The History Center offers a Friday afternoon history food/craft program at the Woodstock Elementary School as an alternative to Ski and Skate Runners (Winter Wellness Program). In this program, K-4 students will explore how food was traditionally prepared and preserved by using historic recipes to make (and then eat!) old-time favorites, such as apple cobbler and corn bread. We will also visit the Woodstock History Center to see how people lived, and then try our hand at making candles, stenciling, beading, writing with a quill pen, playing old-fashioned games, and more.
“Traveling Education Kits” are available free-of-charge, to local schools for grades 3-8. Kits include: Conflicts in Colonial Vermont, Archibits, A Glimpse into Early Vermont Life, Abenaki in Vermont, Historic Photos as Primary Sources.
To borrow any of these kits, please contact the Woodstock History Center’s Director of Public Engagement, Jennie Shurtleff, at (802) 457-1822, or by email.