Fredericksburg, Virginia

10/21/2016
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: Virginia

History, Entertainment and Adventure abound in the Fredericksburg, Virginia Region, located just fifty miles south of Washington, D. C.  Combine a dose of drama with a dash of curiosity and inspire your students!

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History

Colonial and Civil War history abound in the region.  Your students will be walking in the footsteps of some of history’s most significant individuals.  George Washington grew up here and his boyhood home at Ferry Farm is presently being rebuilt on the original foundation.  

His mother’s last home, the Mary Washington House, and his sister’s home, Kenmore Plantation, offer special student programs.  His friend, Hugh Mercer operated an apothecary shop and today the doctor’s apprentice will “treat” you to vivid descriptions of 18th century medicine and surgery.  For a lively interpretation of travel and lodging in the 18th century, visit the Rising Sun Tavern.  President James Monroe started his law practice in Fredericksburg and today the museum dedicated to his life, contains a remarkable collection of personal possessions, furnishings and papers. 

The Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center introduces the extensive action that took place in the area during the Civil War.  Visit Chatham Manor to visualize the task the Union army faced and relive “Lee’s most one-sided victory” against Union General Ambrose Burnside at the Battle of Fredericksburg or journey to Chancellorsville where the battle pitted Lee and Stonewall Jackson against Union General Joseph Hooker.  Visit the site where Jackson was mistakenly and mortally wounded by his own troops. With notice, the National Park Service may be able to provide interpreters for guided tours or you may employ a local company, Hallowed Ground Tours, owned and operated by a former high school history teacher.  

Entertainment

Enjoy a “Broadway musical” at Riverside Dinner Theater or take the stage and perform for theater guests.  Choral groups and smaller ensembles may present a 15-minute program before the show or sing an encore with the cast at the curtain call.  “Talk-Back” sessions with the actors after the show, tours of the scene shop and other fun extras can be added.  Upcoming shows include Million Dollar Quartet and Saturday Night Fever: The Musical. 

With a past stretching back to pre-Colonial times and a legacy of four Civil War Battlefields, it no wonder that Fredericksburg is called the most haunted city, per capita, in the United States.  Fredericksburg Hauntings offers 90-minute walking tours for your own ghostly experience. 

Adventure

The environmental education program offered by Friends of the Rappahannock promotes understanding, respect and stewardship for the unique ecosystem.  Field programs investigate topics such as wetlands, wildlife and water quality through hands-on activities.  All curricula are developmentally appropriate and aligned with the National Science Standards. 

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Issue 18.3 | Winter/Spring 2017

Southeast Education Network

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