Friday, January 21, 2011

The Birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.--Friday History Field Trip #13

It was -25 F (-31 C) when we got up. Yeah. That is over 50 degrees F below freezing. If I can avoid it, I don't go out when it is this cold. That, combined with the fact that we were already out of the house twice this week, meant we were not going out for a Friday History Field Trip today. So I scheduled a virtual one instead!

We visited the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a National Historic Site, in a Historic District that includes the Ebenezer Baptist Church as well as the fire station on the corner. The grave of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are also in the area. On Monday, we read about Martin Luther King, Jr. and talked about who he was and why he was important to our history. I also got an email from with a link to the virtual tour of the birthplace. We didn't have time for it on Monday, so I saved it for our Friday History Field Trip.


We started by looking at Google maps to find where Atlanta was in relation to us. We mapped the location, then got directions so we could see how far away it was from us. We viewed the aerial image of the area of the house, trying to determine what the buildings might be from the look of their roofs. Then we zoomed to street level and "walked" up and down the street to see what else was in the neighborhood. I particularly enjoyed the "double shot-gun" houses across the street. We discussed similarities and differences to our area.

Then we looked at the house. I had the kids guess how old it was. Both were surprised it was built in 1895. We went through the house, beginning on the the front and side porches. There are a few neat things staged in the house, so make sure if you go on the tour, that you look all around. The kids loved the little touches life, things that made the house look like people lived there. They loved all of the audio tidbits, too! I think their favorite was the reaction of Martin Luther King, Sr., upon learning he had a son. We had to define and discuss a few things, such as "multi-generational" and "chifforobe," which means we got an added bonus vocabulary lesson!


After our trip, I had Kiddo fill out a Friday History Field Trip Record sheet. He doesn't like to write very much, so I took dictation for a few questions, but I had him write as many answers as he could. Oddly enough, he loved this activity. I think this was an excellent time to introduce the record sheet. I hope to have him fill one out for every Friday History Field Trip going forward, so I am glad he found the exercise enjoyable.

This was a great field trip, even though I never had to leave the couch! We were able to take the time we needed to listen to the descriptions, to listen again, to look around the rooms (Kutey loved looking at the ceiling). We had the internet available to us, so we could look up anything we had questions about.

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