One of the very first clients that Brightspark started working with was an Illinois middle school that brought their 7th grade class to the state capital of Springfield. Scott is a retired social studies teacher who has led these tours for over thirty years. We caught up with him about what makes Springfield student tours so great for 7th graders.
Learning in the Land of Lincoln
One of Springfield’s main claims to fame is that it was the town that President Abraham Lincoln called home for 23 years. The sites of the town are great for exploring the president’s legacy.
“My favorite sight in Springfield for our seventh graders is the Lincoln Museum,” says Scott. “The wax figures and tableau mean they don't need much imagination to experience what it was like during Lincoln's life. The technology enhances the experience, whether in the two movies or the maps and videos.” Scott is also a fan of Lincoln’s home, where students can see how his family lived during the 19th century.
Fitting It in With the Curriculum
Knowing what you are about to go into is essential for making the most of your student tour. That’s why Scott’s students are able to get so much out of a visit to their state capital. “The students studied 1800's U.S. History in sixth grade, so they can relate to the Lincoln story,” he says. “They take their required Constitution tests in seventh grade, so they have learned about division of powers and the state government.”
Scott’s school also takes an 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. He feels that the school’s one-night Springfield trip is a good way to prepare students for the multi-day trip to the nation's capital. We love the idea of introducing younger students to educational travel with close-to-home trips!