Field Trip Site Sign Up

Please enter your requested site next to your name in the table below. Then quickly hit save so other can add their site requests.

Field Trip Agenda

9:00 AM- Meeting and orientation
9:10 AM- Boston Common- Frank
9:40 AM- Charles St. Meeting House, Jasmine
10:10 AM- George Middleton House and Beacon Hill
10:30 AM- Abiel Smith House- Shea
10:55 AM- African Meeting House- Caitlin
11:30 AM- Granary Burial Ground
12:10 AM- Old Corner Bookstore/Printing Press
1:00 PM- Lunch at Faneuil Hall
2:00 PM- Depart Faneuil
2:20 PM- Paul Revere House
3:00 PM- Wrap up/Review

Your Name
Your Requested Site
Justin Reich
Beacon Hill Residential Architecture/ George Middleton House
David Jones
Printing Press
Shea Callahan
Abiel Smith School
Frank Swoboda
Boston Common
Emily Spooner
Paul Revere House
Caitlin MacLeod-Bluver
The African Meeting House
Amina Sheikh
Granary Burial Ground
Jasmine Boudah
Charles Street Meeting House


Boston is one of the best cities in America for field trips. Today is an opportunity for us to celebrate the city, to enjoy some time outside together, and to begin to exercise your teaching muscles.

Meet at the Park Street Stations in Boston Common at 9:00. Please bring:

1) Sun protection
2) Rain protection
4) Notebook and writing utensil
5) Money/Food for a (late) lunch
6) Water bottle
7) Any materials you need for your lesson (see below)

Each of us will be responsible for teaching a 20 minute lesson at a site along or near the Freedom Trail. The lesson should be designed to illuminate a “problem” in American History. Historians use the word problem to refer to an analytic dilemma: a tension between possible interpretations, a site of conflicting evidence, an internal disjunction within a class, group or culture, and so forth. In asking you to illuminate a problem, I’m asking you not just to tell us what happened at the site, but to facilitate an exercise where we come to have a deeper understanding of some tiny slice of American history or its interpretation through engaging with the site. In plainer talk: don’t lecture; have us do something which stretches our brains. I strongly encourage creative thinking here: games, roleplays, scavenger hunts, engaging strangers, discussions, simulations—anything is fair game.

On Monday, we’ll choose sites for the lessons. Justin will do the first lesson up on Beacon Hill. Some other options from the Freedom Trail (or neighboring iconic neighborhoods or buildings) include:
The Boston Common
The State House
Park Street Church
Granary Burying Ground
King’s Chapel
King’s Chapel Burying Ground
Benjamin Franklin Statue/Boston Latin School
Old Corner Book Store
Old South Meeting House
Old State House
Site of the Boston Massacre
Faneuil Hall
Paul Revere House
The Old North Church
Copp's Hill Burying Ground
North End
City Hall
1. __Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial__
2. __George Middleton House__
3. __The Phillips School__
4. __John J. Smith House__
5. __Charles Street Meeting House__
6. __Lewis and Harriet Hayden House__
7. __John Coburn House__
8-12. __Smith Court Residences__
13. __Abiel Smith School__
14. __The African Meeting House__

If you need materials copied in advance, please submit them by the end of class on Wednesday.

For the entire day, our Essential Question will be as follows:
Does the Freedom Trail have a coherent narrative about American History? If so, what arguments does the Freedom Trail entity make about early American History, the American Revolution, and America’s place in the world? How does the Freedom Trail narrative cohere or not with the narrative of American history from 19th century textbooks?
Freedom Trail Lesson Rubric

Excellent lessons will include the following components:

1) A printed lesson plan, submitted to Justin right before you start teaching
2) An introduction/overview which explains the objectives or essential question of the lesson
3) An activity that
  1. Puts the onus of the intellectual work on the participants rather than the teacher
  2. Takes advantage of the physical landscape as a historical source
  3. Takes advantage of additional materials, prepared in advance, if appropriate
  4. Illuminates a problem in American history
4) A concluding discussion or exit exercise that helps students briefly reflect on what they have learned
5) Carefully orchestrated timings so that time is not wasted and so that the lesson ends in precisely 20 minutes
6) A sense of joyfulness and enthusiasm emerging from the teacher

In general, lessons that earn an A will be well planned, thoughtfully executed, engaging to participants, and enrich our understanding of some slice of American history. Very creative lesson plans that don’t quite work can also earn A grades.

A grade at the B level is meant to signal a significant problem either 1) in the lesson design or 2) in the historical interpretation (or lack thereof) animating the lesson. A B-grade isn’t meant to say that you didn’t try hard or you didn’t teach well; it’s meant to signal to you that there are issues that I believe you need to pay special attention to as you develop as a teacher. I particularly plan to use B-grades on lessons where I believe that there are issues of historical interpretation that suggest that you need to sharpen your own historical thinking skills as you prepare to be a teacher.

A grade at the C level is meant to signal that I think there were serious problems with your level of effort, historical interpretation, or approach to teaching. If you earn a C, we need to have a meeting to discuss.

Some ideas on Field Trip design