If you are looking for a great destination for a history or social studies tour, Boston is an ideal choice for an educational trip with students. Boston, MA is a city steeped in American history from the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 to the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution to America’s first subway. Student tours in and around Boston are easily managed in what is known as the “Walking City.”
Boston is an indoor-outdoor museum of history and architecture. All educational trips to Boston should include at least a portion of the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is 2.5 mile walking tour through Boston that winds its way around 16 significant historic sites from the USS Constitution to the Boston Commons. Guided tours are available for student groups but the Freedom Trail is well-marked and the Freedom Trail Foundation offers maps and other resources for educators at www.thefreedomtrail.org.
Educational Travel to Boston: Excursion to Lexington and Concord
Boston was one of the epicenters of the American Revolution. It was home to many famous patriots including Paul Revere, best remembered for his ride through the countryside warning the Minute Men that the British were marching toward Concord. Lexington and Concord, the sites of the first battles of the American Revolution, are just west of downtown Boston. Here history students can come face-to-face with the Daniel Chester French’s Minute Man statue and the Old North Bridge where the Massachusetts militia defeated the British shortly after the “shot heard ’round the world” was fired.
Adjacent to the Old North Bridge is the Old Manse, the ancestral home of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nathaniel Hawthorne lived and wrote in the Old Manse for three years and Henry David Thoreau tilled a garden there for Hawthorne and his wife. Not far away, students can visit Walden Pond where Thoreau lived and wrote in semi seclusion for two years. History, social studies, and American literature almost come to life for students in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts.
Student Trips to Boston Should Include Salem
A short jaunt north along the coast takes student groups to Salem, a town associated with one of the darkest and most fascinating episodes in American History: the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Museum takes student visitors back to Salem in 1692. The museum offers a dramatic history lesson through the use of stage sets, life-size figures, and a narrated overview of the Witch Trials. The museum also has an exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions, examining the changing definitions of “witch” and “witchcraft,” stereotyping, witch hunts, and even the modern practice of Wicca. This exhibit also includes contemporary examples of witch hunts based on the “fear + trigger = scapegoat” formula, bringing the past into a present day perspective for students.
A Salem, Massachusetts building that will inspire students’ imaginations is the House of the Seven Gables, complete with a hidden staircase. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a descendent of Witch Trial judge, John Hawthorne, spent time in this house owned by his cousins, the Ingersols, when he was a child. Stories he heard about it merged with his family’s history in his dark romantic novel of the same name as the house. Hawthorne’s birthplace is now located on the grounds of the House of the Seven Gables as well.
Include Plymouth in Student Trips to Boston
A field trip to Boston, Massachusetts wouldn’t be complete without an excursion south along the coast to Plymouth. Here students can see Plymouth Rock where the Pilgrims first landed in 1620, visit the Mayflower II, and visit the living history museum, Plimoth Plantation. The plantation is located at the site of the first colony in New England. It recreates life in a Wampanoag village and a 1627 English settlement bringing two worlds together and to life making a great experience for students studying Native American and Colonial history. Teachers can find a variety of resources and curriculum guides for Plimoth Plantation on the museum’s Web site, www.plimoth.org.
Educational Trips to Boston are Enriching Experiences
Educational travel to Boston, Mass. can include many other points of interest like the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science. Student trips to Boston can also feature whale watching trips or even a Boston Red Sox game. Contact an experienced educational travel consultant to help you plan the best trip for your student group.