Last week, the eighth grade went to Williamsburg, Virginia, to research their topics for the colonial research paper. From Tuesday to Friday, they toured the town and independently interviewed people for information on their topics. In Williamsburg, the scholars of American history interviewed people from all over the town, asking questions about things ranging from the colonial fashions to the architecture of the capitol building.
The first day, after the students got to the school at six in the morning and after surviving the grueling eight-hour bus ride, they stopped in Jamestown for a quick tour about the Powhatan Indians and the early years of the colonies. Following the tour, the students unpacked in the hotel and went to dinner at a local restaurant. After they finished their meal, they went to Williamsburg for a nighttime activity. Over the four days, the nighttime activities ranged from ghost tours to dancing lessons, all in Williamsburg and all led by people dressed in classic colonial garb. Following that, they retreated to their hotel rooms for some well-needed sleep.
The second day, the students went to Williamsburg and partook in a three-hour tour around the village, learning about many public buildings, shops and their purposes. Then, they had an hour of independent research time where they could study their topic and interview the “colonists” that were roaming the streets. The evening was much like the night before, filled with interesting activities, food, and rest.
The third day started with a shorter tour and more independent research. Following that, they went to Merchant’s Square where they could spend money on candy, toys, or souvenirs. Then, they boarded the bus, went and changed in from the required dress code into regular clothes, and drove “Go-Karts Plus” for a night of go-kart races, pizza, and rides on “The Disk’O”.
On Friday, they packed their bags and after a quick trip to Yorktown to learn about daily life as a middle class colonist and lunch at, yes, their same favorite restaurant, they got back on the bus and drove for another eight hours up to the middle school. They arrived at eight o’clock and as they neared the building, all everyone was talking about was how much they just wanted to sleep.
In the past years, there have been incidents such as the bus breaking down or bad weather, but this year it was relatively easy. There wasn’t a large crowd in the town, no one lost any luggage, no one got hurt, and no buses broke down. Overall, the Williamsburg trip was fun, enjoyable, and informative for the entire eighth grade.