Friday, March 16, 2012

NC History - Charlotte Hawkins Brown & Civil Rights

I'm still playing a little bit of catch-up and will soon post our vacation.  (Still haven't uploaded all of the pictures - yes, I'm slow.  Its been that kind of week.  Slow.)

In February, we decided to cover Civil Rights and famous African Americans from North Carolina.  As always, we had a pair of moms teaching the class.  The first activity involved the children drawing a slip of paper and reading it.  Each slip had a law from a state regarding the differing treatment of people of color.  After reading them all and talking about some of them, the children were then encouraged to make a poster designed to help change opinions on one of the laws.  They did a great job with them.  After making them, they each took turns presenting them too.  

In the second activity, we talked about Famous African Americans from NC.  Again, each person drew a slip and tried to act out their person.  Some were easier than others to guess and I didn't get many photos of this activity.  We also discussed what it meant to be "from" NC - did that mean you were born here, but didn't really live here long or perhaps someone that was born elsewhere, but moved to NC and considered it home.
For our field trip, we visited two different sites.  This was not done on the same day as the class, but occurred two weeks after the class.  The first site that we visited was the Charlotte Hawkins Brown State Historic Site.  You can read more about it here.  There are also teacher materials located at this site for those interested.

We were ready to start our day and of course I wanted to snap a few photos.  This little one with a mind of her own!  LOL  (Yes, always a mind of her own!)
Group photo.  Such a fun group too.  :-)
We started our tour in the visitor center.  We saw a movie on the history of this site.  In short, Charlotte Hawkins Brown started a school for young African American students in 1902 when she was just 19 years old!  She was amazing!  Read more about her here.

After exploring inside, it was time to tour the grounds.  I lagged a little behind because I had a helper wanting to push the stroller.
This was the dormitory for boys.
It was a gorgeous day and just perfect for our tour.  I had been afraid the rain might spoil it, but thankfully it came through earlier in the day.  Aren't the campus grounds lovely?
I'm pretty sure I have a photo of another little person running on this path when we were here about 7 years ago.
This was the campus dining hall.  There is a great little book detailing the manners and expectations of behavior of the students on campus.  It was strict!  Manners do matter, though I'm not sure you would always know that by observing a meal at our house.  LOL
This is the girls dormitory.  What I wanted to share that was one of the best parts of our tour - our guide. She was a student here before the school closed.  As was her mother who also worked at the school while she attended.  Her grandparents also attended this school.  How incredibly cool it was to hear about the school from someone who experienced it first hand.  She is a treasure!

The school closed not many years after Dr. Brown died.  The transition of leadership had some troubles and the final blow came when the main building burned to the ground.  Sad to see such a wonderful school close.
Two little cuties!
The last stop on our tour was the Canary House where Dr. Brown lived.  We found the house to be a bit deceiving as it is much larger on the inside than it appears from the outside.  It is a beautiful home!
I just love shots like this with my children mixed in with history.  Kind of like taking a step back and experiencing it themselves.  Its really what I hope for when we take these trips.  I want them to learn from and appreciate our past so that they can make good choices when facing things in the future.  History is such a fascinating subject - its stories.  Stories of people's lives.
While we were in the house, Eliana borrowed my camera.  This is what  historic home looks like from her perspective.

I love staircases like this - open and interesting.  I also really like doors.
Another group shot inside the main parlor of the house.
Another shot of the home, but can you find Eliana?  She is off exploring on her own by now.  Have you found her?  Check out the door on the little porch area on the left side of the house (left as we are looking at the picture).

We stayed for a picnic lunch on the site.  It was a very windy day, but nice nonetheless.

This was our next stop.  The Greensboro Historical Museum was about 15 minutes away so it worked well to combine these stops.  We visited here because we thought there would be a scavenger hunt on AA history here.  It wasn't quite all that we had hoped, but we still enjoyed the museum.  They have done a lot of renovating since the last time that we were here and it really is a great museum!
The museum had a lot of exhibits there were interactive.
I tried to keep someone occupied and contained with the iPad.  It didn't work for long.
This was an interesting activity.  You read a situation and then decided how you would choose to respond.  You then slid the question under the response that you chose.  At the bottom when you had completed all of the questions, you were then told if your beliefs lined up with a revolutionary, pacifist or loyalist.
I personally really liked this exhibit.  This was the last stagecoach marker in Guilford County.  The large X on it notes that it was 10 miles to Greensboro.  Why did I find this interesting?  The marker was in Sedalia, the place where Charlotte Hawkins Brown founded her school.
Still and behaving nicely.  Reading the information in the exhibit.  Looks can be deceiving.  LOL
This was a copy of the scavenger hunt that the kids did in the museum.  It was not related to African American history but general NC history.  They had to find each of the items in the museum.
The museum exhibit was arranged chronologically starting with early history and progressing to more recent history.  I love seeing the kids interested in learning!
I was surprised when I got to this exhibit.  Those that have known me really well for a long time might be able to guess why.  Anyone?  This is about a local company that purchases and sells china, silver and crystal.
Here is a closer look.  That is my china AND my crystal.  And I've been thinking of taking it to sell at this place.  It is pretty though, isn't it?
By this point, we had one person in our group that had just had enough of the day.  She was worn out and ready to go home.  So we did.

It was a fun day learning with our friends.  I do recommend both of these sites if you are in the area.

Happy learning!