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Washington D.C. and Williamsburg Virginia: A Time to Tour

There’s never been a better time to sign up for a combination tour of Washington D.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown.

Washington D.C. is a great learning experience for student tour groups because students get to observe our government in action. Student travel groups can also stop at historical points of interest such as Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and the Pentagon, for even more insight into U.S. history.

Just a mere 2 hours south of the Washington D.C. metro area, Williamsburg Virginia awaits. A visit to Williamsburg and Jamestown helps students to envision the settlement of the colonies hundreds of years earlier.

This year, Jamestown celebrates its 400th Anniversary of the English settlement, in 1607. Jamestown’s 400th anniversary is characterized by numerous keynote events, and is being celebrated throughout the Southeastern Virginia area even outside of Williamsburg and Jamestown.

But the most exciting development for student tour groups in 2007 is the enhancement of exhibits at Jamestown Settlement and at Colonial Williamsburg.

In preparation for the anniversary celebration, Jamestown Settlement underwent renovations and large additions were made to the new visiting center. This new state-of-the-art visitor center has interactive exhibits for the active student learner. Students may visit a replica of an Indian village, and board the three ships that took the English to Virginia: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. Inside the museum, real documents and artifacts surrounding the settlement of Virginia are on display.

Colonial Williamsburg has always excelled at presenting living history programs that appeal to the student traveler. Depictions of the heyday of Virginia’s second capital, Williamsburg, include narratives developed from historical documents that include the perspectives of women, slaves, Native Americans, criminals, and more.

Find out how your travel group may schedule a tour of Washington D.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com and an educational travel professional will get right back to you.

Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.: Educators Can Create Student Travel Trips in Sync with Curriculum Goals

The Smithsonian Museum is vast and cannot be taken in just one day. Student travel tour organizers need to think carefully when planning a trip to the Smithsonian Museum. There are so many options to choose from and educators may benefit from tying the trips to the Museum in with curricular goals.

Nevertheless, there are some Smithsonian Museums that seem to be requested more by educational travel groups. I have highlighted them in a recent article, outlining the educational benefits of different museums. educationaltravelconsultants.com/blog/?p=20.

This article gives a basic overview of selected Smithsonian Museums and also offers suggestions on academic fields of interest, which may tie into visits to specific museums.

To help educators plan their student travel tour of Washington D.C. better, I will point you in the right direction on the World Wide Web, to find great educational resources for the trip.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/education/classroom.cfm for online educational activities that tie in nicely with a visit to the National Air and Space Museum. Classes that are equipped with computers can take educational field trips before they make their visit to Washington D.C. A review of online activities could prove useful in the classroom, and teaching resources will integrate the visit to Washington D.C. into classroom activities.

The National Museum of the American Indian
Native American Code talkers were critical in the U.S. Armed forces during World War I and World War II, because native languages were used as code, and formed a basis for communication. Have students visit the website http://americanindian.si.edu/education/codetalkers/ that makes the history of Native American code talkers come alive.

The National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History has excellent educational resources to help plan student travel tours more effectively. Visit http://www.mnh.si.edu/education/. Students can learn about the Future Female Scientists Program and some of the hands on educational programs at the museum, such as the Discovery Room and the Insect Zoo.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery has a wide range of programs for student groups of various age levels. Some of these educational programs are geared towards special age groups (such as 4th-12th Grade) or are organized thematically, such as American Writers, Great American Women, and Portrait Stories. Visit http://www.npg.si.edu/educate2/educate20.htm
For complete information about all of the educational programs available at the National Portrait Gallery.

Don’t Miss Northern Virginia Historical Points on a Student Tour of Washington D.C.

A well rounded student travel tour of Washington D.C. should also include a day or a half-day dedicated to visiting sites just across the Potomac River in Northern Virginia. For example, the Pentagon, Mount Vernon, and Arlington National Cemetery are some of the sites student tour groups wish to visit. To take in all three would be quite a feat, though it is entirely possible if the right amount of advance planning is involved. But educational student tours of the Washington D.C. area should at least include one, if not two of these historic sites.

Pentagon Tours: Book Early
There are many reasons to plan your trip early. The most pressing reason is that some sites, such as the Pentagon, are under heavy security. Therefore, student groups must be registered for a visit prior to arrival at the Pentagon, to undergo the necessary review for a visit. If student groups are not registered early, then chances that that student travel group will see the Pentagon tour are not good. We are in the early stages of planning these types of student tours for 2008. It is not possible to effectively plan a Pentagon tour for a student tour group for 2007.

Arlington National Cemetery a Popular Student Travel Destination

Arlington National Cemetery is also a great place for students to gain a wide overview of domestic and foreign wars the U.S. has been involved in, and understand the soldiers’ contribution. Tram tours and attendance at Wreath Laying Ceremonies are good possibilities for student travel groups that plan early. The coordination of such tours for a large group is easier with advance planning. A visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is always in order upon a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, and frequently requested.

Visit Mount Vernon for Living History and Active Learning
A student tour of Mount Vernon can also be lots of fun for the group. It offers some respite from the bustling city life of Washington D.C. For a moment in time, students can imagine themselves back in time on an Eighteenth Century farm and gristmill. Or, they can visit the new Ford Orientation Center, or participate in a wide variety of living history programs and tours. A visit to Mount Vernon is well worth the effort of leaving Washington D.C. for the day (or a half-day). Mount Vernon is just 16 miles from Washington D.C.

We do our best to make everyone happy on our educational travel trips, especially the students.