Happiness is Visting the Commonwealth Museum!

Hello again!  Thanks for visiting to hear all about our most recent field trip and why there are at least:

Most states have a state museum or historical society that could provide free field trips or resources for you and your students ~ check this out to make sure you're not missing out on any opportunities!

 All Field Trips Are Free!

 In third grade, all we study is Massachusetts, and there is plenty to study.  The focus of the Commonwealth Museum is Massachusetts, and there are so many educational activities and games to reinforce what the kids learn.  Our first stop was a video about town meetings and an overview of Massachusetts history:

Several students mentioned that this video was their favorite part because there are three large screen TVs in the room ~ this gives a panoramic effect.  In addition, there are two small rectangular screen that hang in front of the TV screens.  On these small screens, individual colonists magically appear and talk about their lives and viewpoints.

Small Group Instruction!

After the video, we took a quick tour through the Treasure Room which contains Paul Revere's original engraving of the Boston Massacre (it's in the glass case in the below picture) as well as the original charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the first Massachusetts state Constitution.

Click on picture for more information.

After the quick tour, the kids were divided into four small groups and visited four centers that focused on different eras of Massachusetts history, like the Salem Witch Trials as well as the American and Industrial Revolutions:

The Commonwealth Museum employs college interns in addition to their regular staff.  The young woman in the top right picture is a student at Northeastern University!

Archeological Dig Activities.

Between 1991 and 2006, Boston underwent a huge change called "The Big Dig" in which major highways went from above ground to underground tunnels.  If you've ever driven in Boston, it's not that easy or fun, but this "Big Dig" was meant to improve traffic.  In the digging process, many historical and colonial artifacts were unearthed and are now stored at the Commonwealth Museum.

To give the kids a feel for the whole process, they first donned construction vests and observed the historical objects which came from a colonist's privy or private trash/garbage/waste area.  After this, they changed into lab coats and investigated and made conclusions about the objects.  They has a tremendously fun time:

 Home of the Oldest Bowling Ball in the USA!

Every group's specimens included one of those sphere-like objects:


Click here or on the picture to read more at the Commonwealth Museum's web site.

We learned that this is a bowling bowl; this particular colonist loved to bowl.  Bowling was actually popular back in colonial days!  I learned something new about colonial life!  In addition, the oldest bowling bowl in the USA is at the Commonwealth Museum (just in case you're ever on "Jeopardy" or another game show,  you'll know the answer.)

"A Hidden Gem"

According to a Boston Globe article (click here to read the article),
the Commonwealth Museum is a place worth visiting if you want to learn more about Massachusetts or do research from their extensive collection of artifacts and historical documents.

Those are my five highlights from last week!  Be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs to check more!


Thanks for checking in today, and have a wonderful week!

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