April 8, 9, and 10, 2014
9:45 a.m.–2 p.m.
While considering the question “How was life long ago similar to and different from life today?” students explore a variety of engaging, hands-on stations throughout the museum. Artifacts and artwork from museum collections inspire students to use critical and historical thinking skills. This full-day experience is a playful way to explore the concept of change from a variety of perspectives.
Themed visits give students a chance to experience the museum in new ways. Activities begin at 9:45 a.m. and end at 2 p.m., but classes may arrive and depart at anytime during that period.
Before your visit
- Divide students into groups of 5 or fewer and assign each group a chaperon.
- Discuss field trip expectations and lunch plans with chaperons and students.
- Role-play museum etiquette with students.
During your Theme Day experience
- Museum educators will greet you with activity guides and maps.
- Exciting, theme-related activity stations will be staffed by museum educators.
- Students and chaperons will enjoy free exploration time throughout the museum. Students and chaperons must stay together throughout the visit.
Classroom activities to enhance your Theme Day experience
- Together with students, develop interview questions to find out how people liked to play when they were young. Have students conduct interviews with grandparents, parents, or peers, and then write a story about their findings. Consider asking students to include drawings or pictures to illustrate the story.
Have students make observations about how play has changed over time and how some aspects of play have stayed the same.
Have students make predictions about how children might play differently in the future.
- Discover how today’s fashion differs from what was worn in the 19th century.
Pictures of people in 19th-century clothing
First, make a basic dress pattern by spreading open a sheet of newspaper and refolding it in half horizontally. Turn the sheet so the fold is on the right and cut a U-shaped armhole in the upper left corner. Spread the sheet open again and cut a U- or V-shaped neckline in the center of the top edge. This will form shoulder straps between the arm holes.
Hold up the pattern in front of a student and trim the paper where necessary for a better fit. Extend the length with additional sheets of newspaper to match the child’s height and gender—longer dresses for girls, shorter vests for boys. Then ask students to trace the pattern onto two pieces of butcher paper. Students can then cut out both pieces and tape them together at the shoulder and side seams. Have students decorate the “clothing” to resemble 19th-century attire. Talk about what makes 19th-century clothing different from clothing today.
- Talk with students about the purpose of transportation and reasons why people travel.
Ask students questions such as:
How did you get to school today? Is that an example of travel or transportation?
How do people get from one place to another?
Why do people travel?
What different kinds of transportation could you use to visit places close to where you live?
What kinds of transportation would you use to visit places that were far away?
Have students draw pictures of different types of transportation and post the pictures around the room.
- Discuss the value of train transportation. Have students demonstrate methods of transporting goods before trucks and airplanes:
Walking: have one student carry a book around the room.
Horse-drawn wagon: have one student act as the horse and walk in front of two other students who are carrying a box of books. The box represents the wagon.
Train: have the entire class line up with books in hand and walk around the classroom.
Which method of transportation carried the most books?
Which method was fastest?
Which was slowest?
- Read a variety of books to teach students about the types of materials trains carry, where trains travel, and how they move.