May 4 marks the start of an important occasion for educators with National Teacher’s Appreciation Week. Although this year feels a bit different, this week of observance for those who command a classroom is still meaningful, and the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City is offering a virtual way to celebrate.
From May 4- 8, Philadelphians will be able to head to the MOAR’s website to partake in activities and different learning opportunities revolving around education all in commemoration of those who teach.
Starting Monday, May 4, the museum will be offering a vital resource to help teachers during this time of social distancing with new, free weekly mini-lesson plans that can be taught virtually on its website and Facebook. According to the release, the lesson plans feature activities, provocative discussion questions and primary sources based on the museum’s rich collection of artifacts and the diverse stories told in its exhibits. The lesson plans will explore various topics including the role of museums, types of revolutions, and the people, causes, events and repercussions of the American Revolution. They are targeted at the middle school level but can easily be adapted for upper elementary and high school students. Teachers and students are welcome to connect with the museum’s education team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more information.
The week will also feature stand-alone events for everyone to join in on, whether you’re a teacher, student or just curious. On Tuesday, May 5, at 1 p.m., a video exploration of the MOAR’s “Educating Citizens” gallery with Tyler Putman, the Manager of Gallery Interpretation for the Museum will be streamed. The video will feature information on how important education became in the years following the Revolutionary War and will offer viewers a way to discover how parents were teaching their children from home in the early Republic—similar to what is happening today.
Then on Wednesday, May 6, at noon, head to the museum’s Instagram page for a live Q&A event with Adrienne Whaley, Senior Manager of K-12 Education, and Michael Hensinger, Manager of School Programs for the MOAR. Viewers will be able to find out what it’s like to be a museum educator and more during the event.
The week will also present a few opportunities to get crafty at home as well, including instructions on how to master basic sewing skills, like those taught in the early United States where boys and girls often learned patriotic sentiments through their lessons. The exercise will allow participants a chance to create their own sampler, which according to the release, is a piece of embroidery or cross-stitching that can be made at home using embroidery floss, a piece of linen or muslin, a needle and a pattern.
Philadelphians can also find additional educational and entertaining activities on the MOAR’s website to be enjoyed throughout National Teacher Appreciation Week.
One activity will take you on a behind-the-scenes field trip of the Museum with host Lauren Tarshis, author of the ‘I Survived’ series of children’s historical fiction novels. On the ‘Beyond the Battlefield’ Virtual Field Trip, viewers will be able to meet museum educator Adrienne Whaley and museum curator Matthew Skic, see real artifacts and documents from the American Revolution, learn the stories of two teenagers who actually served during the Revolutionary War and see the actual tent that George Washington lived in as he traveled with his soldiers. Those interested can also download the Beyond the Battlefield Classroom Kit (for grades 2 – 8) that contains a Revolutionary War vocabulary list and discussion questions to supplement your virtual field trip.
That’s not the only virtual field trip that Philadelphians can partake in during the week. If you want a full behind-the-scenes look at the museum, you’re in luck. The MOAR also offers a complete virtual museum tour where you’ll get an immersive look at all of the museum’s exhibits with a 360-degree view. This offers a way to pay a visit to the cultural institution without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
The website also holds plenty of additional resources for educators as well, including a ‘Color the Collection’ coloring book that includes a handful of Revolutionary-era artifacts in the museum’s collection in full color; take-home crafts that explore revolutionary activities using just a few commonly found household supplies; and book excerpts and additional reading for students including pieces from a few popular children’s books such as ‘Never Caught: The Story of Ona Judge’ (the Young Reader’s Edition) by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve, ‘Revolutionary Friends’ by Selene Catrovilla and also a few visual story time reads including ‘Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin’ by Gene Barretta and ‘What Can a Citizen Do?’ written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris.
To learn more information about National Teacher Appreciation Week at the MOAR, visit amrevmuseum.org.