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Knoxville elementary students ‘weave’ history through learning about flags

South Knoxville Elementary School third grade students in Susan Parker’s class stepped into Knoxville’s Historic Blount Mansion virtually to see history in a new way.
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 7:35 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 7:41 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - South Knoxville Elementary School third grade students in Susan Parker’s class stepped into Knoxville’s Historic Blount Mansion virtually to see history in a new way.

“I’m learning more about the flags and some more culture,” said India Matthews, a third-grade student in Parker’s class.

“It makes me feel good because I didn’t know as much about our history,” said Sawyer Howard, another third-grade student.

They learned social studies with a spin.

Parker said, “It really is important for Tennessee history. We look at the three grand divisions. So they were able to see today how that fit into our flag.”

A virtual field trip with Blount Mansion brought the knowledge to the students without them having to step foot on a school bus.

“Lots of schools are not going to be doing in-person field trips any time soon, maybe not even for the rest of this calendar year. So while some might see this as an obstacle we see it as an opportunity,” explained Michael Jordan, Director of Marketing and Development at the Blount Mansion, “Blount Mansion is the birthplace of Tennessee so our story is relevant to children in middle Tennessee, in West Tennessee, just as much as it is to children in Knox County.”

Lessons were woven with Mrs. Parker’s class and the historic site.

“We’re collaborative. She helps us come up with ideas and she helps our volunteer Josh to teach the class,” said Jordan.

“A lot of times when you’re doing a field trip that’s all day long it’s hard to take in the information and so the takeaway is not as good as the conversations that we’re able to have after the field trips with the small amount of content,” explained Parker.

They talked about the history of the U.S., Tennessee and even Knoxville’s flags, some new information for these smart kids.

“It’s really exciting to learn some new things,” said Matthews.

The kids had a contest of their own to see who could draw the best classroom flag. After learning about symbolism and colors to represent the flag they selected one from their class. Chloe Clouse won the classroom competition.

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