Step into the Past at the New Monticello Visitor and Education Centers
Monticello, the house that Thomas Jefferson designed and built for himself and his family, stands on a hill on the luscious grounds of the Monticello Plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia (about 125 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.). Yesterday the newly expanded Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center were celebrated with a grand opening ceremony. The new center boasts four new exhibitions, a hands-on learning room for kids, and classroom space.
Learn more about Thomas Jefferson and his home on the Monticello website. Be sure to review the section of the website titled Jefferson Today, which links what's happening today--such as piracy off the coast of Africa--to issues dealt with by Jefferson! This is an excellent resource for teachers looking to help make sense of history and modern events in the classroom.
Visiting presidential historic sites is also an excellent way to actively engage young people in American history! For an extensive field trip guide, be sure to check out Presidential Birthplaces, Houses, and Libraries on the NCBLA's website http://www.ourwhitehouse.org/intro.html.