Contact: Arlington House, George Washington Memorial Parkway,
Turkey Run Park, McLean, VA 22101. Call (703) 235-1530 or visit our website
Every Day Life in the 1850's: The program consists
of a 45-60minute long tour followed by different hands on activities relating
to life at Arlington in the 1850's. These activities include gardening, dressing
in period clothing and producing patriotic art. The program focuses on the following:
- The way people lived on a plantation during the decade just prior to the
Civil War. Arlington is used as an example of how different life was at that
time and how dramatically that lifestyle was altered by the Civil War.
- Students examine the lives of Robert E. Lee's family and the enslaved people
to learn how they interacted.
Life During Wartime: Arlington During the Civil War:
This program is completely student driven. They lead themselves around the site
in smaller groups searching for information in a kind of scavenger hunt. This
program helps students to build skills in teamwork and communication as well
as map reading and timekeeping. They take responsibility for their educational
experience and at the same time learn how best to explore and learn from a historic
site. This program requires intensive in-class preparation by the teachers to
make it work. This program focuses on the following:
- The changes brought by the war and how the lives of the various residents
of the estate were affected. This not only includes the Lee family and the
slaves but also the Union soldiers who occupied the estate.
- The creation of Arlington National Cemetery and the problems faced by freed
slaves attempting to adjust to their new circumstances.
The Life and Times of Robert E. Lee: This program
was developed through the English Literature department of a local high school
and not through a Social Studies Department. This program allows students to
do the following:
- To analyze subject matters by comparing and contrasting literature about
the Civil War with actual history. In the class room the students study Civil
War novels such as "Killer Angels" and "Gone With The Wind."
- To conduct research and write position papers regarding particular aspects
of the history. They then prepare skits and debates which they then present
on-site for the public. In the past, student groups have also developed museum
exhibits, webpages and brochures that have been presented to the public. Through
this program they are able to learn how to negotiate their way through the
quagmire of sorting out fact from fiction information.
- Students also learn skills associated with historical interpretation and
the field of public history.