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Gators Are Going Places!
Foreman Junior High and High school students are learning about history through the enriching experience of visiting historical places. Each class, grades 7-11, has visited one of the places they have studied about in one of their classes. For example, 9th graders read about the integration of Central High in the memoir by Melba Pattillo Bealls, Warriors Don’t Cry. At the end of the unit, English teacher Leah Beall took her students to visit Little Rock Central High School, a National Historic Site. “I learned extra history beyond the book. I get to bring that with me….I won’t forget it,” said 9th grader DeJames Powell. “Characters in the book became real kids fighting real adult battles. Students truly appreciated that our school provided this learning opportunity outside the walls of the classroom and into the real world,” said Miss Beall. She then brought them to tour the Arkansas State Capitol building.
Museums add depth to understanding, and they also open new worlds of interest for students. Reading about an event is one aspect of learning, but visiting and seeing the actual place, walking where the people from the lesson walked, turns a mere story into a reality. In U.S. History, Juniors who are studying John F. Kennedy were able to visit The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Students were able to see a recreation of how the book depository looked at that time and also view primary documents connected to the event. “It was cool to be able to see the angle of the shots and where the X was,” said Jace Jackson, FHS student.
Other field trips also included 7th graders visiting Old Washington, 8th graders visiting the Old Statehouse Museum, and 10 graders visiting Fort Smith National Historic Site. The opportunity to visit museums and historical locations excites students about learning, incentivizes cross-curricular learning, and allows them to think critically about the world beyond the page number and beyond the swamp.