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West Scholars Visit D.C.

Posted by West Teaching Scholars

April 18, 2017

Category: Student Blogs

segwaytour.jpgA group of West Scholars traveled to Washington, D.C. on the Amtrak train on Saturday, March 4th and returned on Tuesday, March 7th. Students traveling were Braden Asbury, Hunter Benfield, Carly Boileau, Carissa Cash, Jameson Clanton, Carrie Loman, Brittany Hager, Joan Hedrick, Daniel Morrison, Madison T. Sides, and Katie Zobel. Dr. Karen Lucas, Mrs. Jane Snider and Mrs. Teresa Weddington were chaperones.

Students enjoyed a guided tour of the Capitol building, the Library of Congress and the Botanical Gardens after their arrival in D.C. Saturday, March 4th.

On Sunday, March 5th students took the Metro to Arlington Cemetery and saw the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Other highlights of the trip included a matinee in the Kennedy Performing Arts Center, a ghost tour of the Capitol area and an Escape Room Adventure. Students also enjoyed a Segway tour of the National Mall area.

Students were required to visit a Smithsonian Museum of their choice, find an artifact and write a short paragraph describing how they could incorporate this artifact into their future classroom. Here are a few of their blogs:


This picture was taken at the Smithsonian Museum of National History in Washington, D.C. This case displays different instruments and information about the time period these were played in. I would love to teach my future students the different cultures and genres these instruments are used in. I would also want to let the students also listen to songs that incorporate these instruments.

- Carly Boileau




One of my favorite parts about the trip was the presidents section of the American History Museum. Standing next to Abraham Lincoln's top hat was an amazing feeling! I'd love to use some of his speeches in my classroom in the future. As an English teacher, there's a lot of possible exercises- we could analyze his speeches for grammar, for ethos/pathos/logos, and analyzing his persuasive techniques.

- Daniel Morrison


I enjoyed the DC trip so much! It allowed me to become closer to the other West Scholars as we learned about the history of our nation.

This is a picture of a dolphin-shaped ocarina that I purchased at the Museum of the North American Indian. The museum had exhibits showcasing Native American art, including music, and the gift shop had many musical instruments in reflection of that. I would love to have several ocarinas and other Native American instruments for students to use in the classrooms. They would provide a hands-on way to learn about Native American music and culture while also providing students a new instrument to learn. Since there are cheap ocarinas available, I would love for students to be able to keep them after the class is over, helping them to be able to continue their musical journey outside of the classroom.

- Katie Zobel


This picture was taken inside the Native American History Museum in Washington, D.C. I chose this exhibit because of how it could relate to my teaching at an elementary level. During autumn, especially the Thanksgiving season, children are taught a lot about Native American cultures and lives. This exhibit is of an old 'sacred' city which can specifically be involved into the lessons of old civilizations that is taught somewhere around the fifth-grade level. This would be beneficial to the teaching curriculum because this lesson usually focuses around the ancient South American groups, such as the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs, and children should learn about the similar situations that have taken place a little bit closer to home.

- Braden Asbury


In the National Museum of the American Indian we were able to see many awesome examples and artifacts from the lives of Native Americans. One of these examples was a suspension bridge. It was made from grass that was twisted into rope, it was handmade but able to withstand up to 5,000 pounds. I will be able to use this in my classroom as an example for how Native Americans were able to adapt for many conditions. This also relates to the fact that people were able to do things without modern technology and could teach them the way they did it. I think i would prefer to teach them about it and then follow up by having them demonstrate their knowledge by completing a project of building their own suspension bridge and seeing how much weight they could hold. This way they could get an up close look at the way things were put together at the time through their own eyes.

- Brittany Hager


I chose the ruby shoes from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz because I plan on using the book in my future classroom. Since I plan on teaching Middle School Social Studies, I would teach the political interpretation of the Wizard of Oz as a metaphor for America in the 1890s. This allegory relates most of the major characters to political and economical events during this time in America. With Dorothy being the young, naïve people of America, the Wizard being a deceitful politician, the Tin Man representing the new industrialized factory employees, the Scarecrow representing the struggling farmers, and the Cowardly Lion representing William Jennings Bryan. The significance of the ruby shoes, seen in the picture, is that they were originally silver to represent the Silverite, political movement to continue silver and gold as the monetary standard, sixteen to one silver ratio, along with the yellow-brick road representing the gold standard. Using the Wizard of Oz to teach about the late 19th Century would both make the lesson more interesting and easier to understand.

- Hunter Benfield

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