The unique factor of this educational program is that students actually participate in activities that are site specific to the Birthplace of George Washington. This program focuses on the Chesapeake area when the first Washington arrived and colonial life as George Washington knew it. The students understand the character of “the Father of Our Country” as they participate in this educational program.
This program emphasizes character education, focusing on George Washington as a teenager. Young Washington overcame some of the same problems young people face today, to become a great national hero. “Rules of Civility” copied by George Washington are used with this program.
Using a large-format canvas map, students discover the natural resources of the Bay and its tributaries, through the story of the lands surrounding Popes Creek Plantation, birthplace of George Washington, and the history of the people that worked the land and water. Interpretive props allow students to view, touch, and feel elements of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and enhance messages about the protection of this precious resource. They learn where they live and what they do affects the Bay.
The scripts offer glimpses of daily life from four different slaves’ perspectives at the Pope’s Creek plantation at the time when George Washington was a child. The slave’s names are from his father’s 1743 property inventory and are slaves with which young George would have been familiar. Although we do not know the exact skills and duties of each slave, it was possible to extrapolate some ages and family relationships from the inventory.
Before George Washington did all these great things, he was a child just like most other children of his time. We call the time in the past when George was a child the colonial times. The Popes Creek plantation where George was born later became a national park that we can all visit. When you come to the park, look for ways that life was different in the past. What do you think has changed? Or stayed the same?
George Washington was a surveyor before he was ever a military leader or president. His first independent survey was done here at his birth place plantation. Students will learn and participate in surveying as George would have done in the 18th century. Other activities are also centered around the themes of math and science. Materials can be accessed below and/or mailed. Contact park if you want materials mailed to you.