A Washington DC tour provides a wealth of educational opportunities. Here we will cover the top five must-see attractions for teachers with their students.
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Home to the most extensive natural history collection in the world, the Smithsonian is packed with exhibitions and activities designed to inform and educate on the fiery beginnings of the planet. The museum itself is about the size of 18 football fields. You and your students will love inspecting the more than 140 million cultural artifacts and natural world specimens available.
Alongside this, the specially devised “Q?rius School Programs” allow your students the opportunity to become scientists. Led by the museum educators, they will get involved in an assortment of engaging problem-solving activities to stimulate their curiosity and interest in the natural world.
National Archives Research Center and Museum
The National Archives contains some of the most significant documents from the country’s history. Here you can discuss with your students the importance of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights while seeing them up close.
Student-focused activities, such as scavenger hunts and games are offered in the Boeing Learning Center.
Another option is for you to check out one of the handy Gallery Packs. These packs are chock full of hands-on activities that will encourage your students to explore the museum while learning more about its permanent exhibits.
U.S. Capitol Building
The world-famous U.S. Capitol Building is known as the hub of representative democracy. It is said to be the very symbol of the American people and their government. Notable sites include the Crypt, Rotunda, National Statuary Hall, and the Senate and House Galleries.
Prepare for your visit by making use of the many printable resources and educational activities available for free on their website. Some of these can even be used to keep your students learning during your tour of the Capitol.
Various extra activities for students are offered onsite. Capitol Classroom is a two-hour program that inspires your students to research the history and culture of America. Alternatively, Vote! lets them experience what it is like to be a member of Congress through examining and voting on different issues that have previously been considered in Congress.
Popular Monuments and Memorials
Monuments and memorials, located on the National Mall, honor American forefathers and heroes who sacrificed their lives in service of their country.
Encourage your students to talk about pivotal times in history that shaped the country while visiting the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.
At the Washington monument, you and your students can take a trip up to the observation deck – more than 500 feet in the air! Here you can spot other famous landmarks while taking in 360-degree views of the city.
International Spy Museum
Featuring the largest collection of espionage artifacts on public display, the International Spy Museum makes use of interactive exhibitions and installations that showcase the exciting world of intelligence.
Onsite workshops and lectures based on the museum’s exhibits provide unique and educational hands-on activities for every age. Your students will be thrilled at the opportunity to engage in their own undercover mission during their tour of the museum.
Save yourself some time by making use of the multitude of free online lesson resources available online to ready your students for their visit to this popular attraction.