Colonial Williamsburg brings past to present with an online resource that sends students on electronic field trips through history. Student participants can research past atrocities of the slave trade, follow British spies through the American revolution, or choose from any number of colonial-style themes that pique their interest. Each field trip consists of teacher development materials, a corresponding television broadcast sponsored by PBS, and internet-based activities designed to answer questions and engage students. Participants are even given the option to interact with historians and staff members by way of phone and electronic message boards. There are seven different trips scheduled for the 2002-03 school year. Schools can purchase the trips for $100 a piece or pay $500 for all seven, with a different theme scheduled each month. But if it’s free resources you’re after, the site offers a variety of interactive research materials and tools designed to give an overview of colonial life. Students can take a look at old-style dresses, suits, and three-point hats, read about the significance of historical landmarks and figures, or view pictures of the precious gardens that contribute to Williamsburg’s timeless beauty. A number of teacher resources provide free suggestions and activities to help educate kids about America during the period of its revolution.
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