Saturday, August 11, 2012

George Washington Teacher Institute

I had the privilege to attend the George Washington Teacher Institute this summer at Mount Vernon. It a week-long program in which you stay on the grounds at Mount Vernon and learn about all things George Washington. We did all sorts of fun things like tour the mansion, meet Mrs. Washington, travel to the gristmill and distillery, as well as, walk around the grounds to see everything they have to offer there. If you have never been, I highly recommend it! It is such a neat experience, especially the teacher institute. I even got up early enough to see the sunrise over the Potomac River.

I tried to choose 5 things that I learned about that I would want to share with my colleagues and class. So, here they are:

1. George Washington had so many different jobs! He was a surveyor, farmer, president, general, owned a distillery and gristmill, as well as cared for his family and country!

2. He was quite the inventor! He constructed a 16-sided barn to aid in the process of threshing grain. It is a sight to see for sure!

3. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE all things chocolate. Well, chocolate was apart of the Washington's life as well. We learned the process of how chocolate was made then, as well as having a taste test. (It was prepared much differently then.) I think I will turn this into a chocolate unit with my kids this year! Anyone have any great chocolate lessons? I think I will include a chocolate tasting party with a variety of different chocolates.

4. Math! Math is everywhere at Mount Vernon! I can tie in the 16-sided barn, the layout of the mansion, the fact that he was a surveyor, the crop rotation schedule, etc.

5. Martha Washington! She is one of my favorite women of history. She played such a role in the formation of our country. I want to bring her alive to my students! I especially respect all of the hardships that she lived through including the death of all of her children, as well as her husband.

So, as you can see, Mount Vernon has so much to offer! I just loved my time spent there.

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