Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Classroom Today--March 30

Today we hit the Minnesota History Center for a special Homeschool day with Ben Franklin.
I wish I had pictures, but they were prohibited in the actual exhibit, and the actor who impersonated Franklin simply would not stand still long enough for a decent picture!

We started the day with a group learning activity about Minnesota inventions--things like the paper bag and Totino's pizza. Who knew! The kids got to act out the story of the inventions to try to make the ideas stick. It was interesting, but good that it didn't last any longer.

Then we had the opportunity to go explore the museum. I had never been to the History Center. It turns out it is an interesting place. They had an exhibit on Minnesota in World War II, which was by far my favorite (even better than the Ben Franklin exhibit). In the exhibit they had an old time soda fountain with play ice cream and sundae and soda cups. The kids had a blast taking and fulfilling orders. They also had an assembly line for ammunition which the kids thoroughly enjoyed.

The Ben Franklin exhibit was fun, too. We had read a bit about Franklin, knowing we would be headed to the exhibit. I think my favorite things were the armonica, the display of Poor Richard Almanacs, and the printing exhibit. There was a kiosk where the kids could put in their names and then see it "printed" on a page. You can see the same thing here, and even print out the page. We might do that as something to put in the kids learning notebooks.

Kiddo and Kutey liked learning about Ben Franklin, and it was fun to see some of the things we had read about, such as the armonica, but the exhibit was not as interactive as I might have liked. At their ages, more interaction is better, and even better than machines to interact with are real people to answer questions, something this lacked. That is the reason kiddo likes living history exhibits so much, the interaction he can have with the people. He learns a lot from asking questions.

Kiddo's favorite Ben Franklin invention? The lightning rod. Kutey's? the same thing. Mine? The lending library!

Want more information on Ben Franklin? Check out these resources!
Ben Franklin 300
The Ben Franklin Exhibit
The World of Ben Franklin

Liberty's Kids Ben Franklin


anne said...

We love the History Center. Our favorite room is the Weather Room.

schmobes said...

We didn't even make it to the Weather Room! Next time...