by Katie Gieselman-
Upon entering my final year in the elementary education program, I recently received news of where I would be student teaching for an entire year. I was pleased to hear that I would be placed in a 5th grade history and language arts classroom. This school is considered urban and they don’t have the resources that most schools have. I instantly knew that I wanted to give these students an opportunity to experience history in a fun way. I began thinking about field trip ideas to historical locations/museums that wouldn’t cost the school a ton of money. Living so close to St. Louis it would be silly not to take advantage of the resources available. Listed below are the top 3 places I found in St. Louis to keep the world of history alive and exciting in a 5th graders mind. (Note: All of these places could easily be adapted for older and younger students.)
This beautiful museum tells the story of many Jews in the St. Louis area who experienced the Holocaust. This museum is completely free and, upon request, a Holocaust survivor can tell their story to your students. The great thing about this museum is that they understand the importance of a good tour guide. They have tour guides who are specifically used to tell the story to younger students in an appropriate way that they can understand. They are even able to show students how something like the Holocaust can be similar to the hate in America today against certain ethnic groups.
2) The Museum of Westward Expansion, under the arch in St. Louis
Students will be more than excited to travel here and learn about history! Not only will they get to travel up in the Arch (for a fee) but they will also get to explore the westward expansion and what that meant for St. Louis. The exhibits are fun and eye catching and are sure to keep the students talking long after the field trip is over. The best part… It’s FREE!
Many may be asking how the Science Center can be considered a place for students to learn about history. It is one of those great places that can incorporate science and history (Hello, two field trips in one!) that allow students to make the connection of how the two subjects are related. The Science Center is completely free unless you want your students to experience one of the many exhibits that visit the center each year which normally charge for a ticket.