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History brought to life in virtual field trip for KCS students

Bringing history to life and keeping kids interested is a tough task. Add in a pandemic and it’s even harder.
Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 7:56 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Bringing history to life and keeping kids interested is a tough task. Add in a pandemic and it’s even harder.

“We have not been able to have field trips. That’s a district decision, which is wise. You know we want to keep our children and our staff as safe as possible,” said Susan Parker, a third-grade teacher at South Knoxville Elementary School.

For 26 years, Parker’s been an educator, but she’s had to change her teaching style to include a different spin on field trips.

“So it’s sad for them and for us that they can’t come the less than one mile across the bridge to Blount Mansion to meet us so we decided to bring Blount Mansion to them,” said Michael Jordan.

Jordan, with the Blount Mansion, said keeping kids safe meant thinking about field trips in a new way, especially since the school is a neighbor to Blount Mansion.

Jordan explained, “We love this school because it’s close by, has a diversity of students. It’s really small.”

They used technology to their advantage to teach students about William Blount being a signer of the U.S. Constitution, a new fact for these kids.

“I think that was pretty cool,” said India Matthews, a third-grade student in Mrs. Parker’s class.

But the students’ favorite part was trying out writing their names with a quill ink pen.

It was “awesome,” said Joseph Jordan, another third-grade student.

Parker said, “It’s nice to have that because I think that’s something we miss is to have that opportunity to have them learn from other people and not just from one person.”

For Blount Mansion, this is just the beginning.

“We think that if it works here that even when the pandemic is over maybe we can do activities like this virtually in classrooms all across Tennessee,” said Michael Jordan.

Mrs. Parker’s class will have more field trips with Blount Mansion over the next few weeks. They’ve discussed bringing in vintage clothing from a certain time period and letting kids churn butter shaking a mason jar.

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