Wonder and Wander
It wasn’t exactly a project, but I did take my students on a “Wonder Wander” trip up to the cemetery next to Providence Chapel on Mount Vernon Hwy, in anticipation of our visit to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. during our Interim Week trip.
The emphasis of the experience was to take some time to be quiet and get centered, focusing on the stillness and sacredness of the space. I also asked the students, as they wandered amongst the graves, to pay attention to the names, dates, symbols and inscriptions on the stones. From there, they were free to wander throughout, and create questions based on their wondering that arose from the experience.
There were several graves from the early 20th century, as well as many from later on that included commendations from the armed forces, which tied in with our experience at Arlington. Also, there were an inordinate number of stones marking the burial sites of young children, and these led to many questions from the students, from “Why are there so many?” to “What were the living conditions at the time?” and “How were medical practices and the treatment of disease different 100 years ago?”
Curiosity and Passion Drive Learning
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