A Social Studies Project in First Grade

The new elephant house in the National Zoo will not be open until March 23 so this weekend, my son and I went to Mount Vernon to do his project in Social Studies. My son wanted to make a poster of George Washington's home out of photographs. Here he is, at the entrance to Mount Vernon:

My son stood here while I was getting our tickets.

We went inside the Ford Orientation Center where my son received an Adventure Map of Mount Vernon. It came with puzzles, each one concerns a particular site inside Mount Vernon. Do not worry, we would not tell you the answers and spoil the puzzle.

The place was big. This was like visiting the National Zoo. My son was wondering if he would see some animals.

Here was a model of the mansion. We needed to fall in line and wait for our turn to enter the real thing. And cameras were not allowed so we would not be able to share photos of the rooms inside the mansion.

My son was still studying the adventure map while standing in front of a stained glass window in the orientation center.

Here is the mansion behind my son. You could see the line of people waiting to enter the mansion.

This tree is over 200 years old.

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This is the greenhouse. Oops, did we just give you the answer to Puzzle 1?

Look at this garden. George Washington was a farmer and a gardener.

There is a shoemaker's shop.

This is the room for the male slaves during George Washington's time.

 This is the room for the supervisor.

There is a place where a blacksmith works, making tools for farming. We are not giving you the answer to Puzzle 2.

 This is a closer view of the mansion.

This is where clothes and ropes are made. Mount Vernon during George Washington's time was trying to make everything they needed.

My son thinks the gardener has a nice bed and bedroom.

 This is where laundry is washed.

This is George Washington's transportation.

This is one of George Washington's vehicles.

But where are the horses?

My son knew there were animals in Mount Vernon.

This is a board that explains how George Washington planned his fruit garden and nursery.

This is the Washington Tomb. (George and Martha Washington are both buried here, with other family members)

Near the Washington Tomb is the burial site for the slaves.

My son is now on his way to the banks of the Potomac River.

Here is the Potomac River.

To return to the mansion, my son chose a wooden stairway.

This is a necessary, a toilet during George Washington's time. There was no modern bathroom at that time.

This photo might be of help for puzzle 4.

The following is the view from the front door of the mansion.

This is the view from the back.

This is the kitchen, which is separate from the mansion.

Then we went to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center and was greeted by this statue of George Washington.

The museum brings George Washington into life through models made by forensic reconstruction.

My son is currently watching a cartoon show describing George Washington's life.

Like George Washington, my son is also a young Virginian.

One of George Washington's first jobs. Washington as a 19-year old surveyor.

There, my son found a horse. Washington, as a 45-year old commander-in-chief.

This is a model of a battlefield.

The Declaration of Independence

The American War of Independence

After winning the war, George Washington could have easily become king.

But George Washington chose to be an ordinary citizen.

George Washington is a real farmer.

After seeing so many pictures and figures of George Washington, my son could now tell which one George Washington is in a picture.

My son still needs to work on the other founders though.

The 57-year old George Washington taking the oath of office as first president of the United States of America.

George Washington chose not to be king, but my son did find the poster below amusing.

George Washington defined the presidency of the United States of America.

Mount Vernon is a lot more colorful during the spring, summer or fall.

It is sad to think that if my son asked me who the father of my native land is, I really have not much to show, but one photograph of Andres Bonifacio:

Andres Bonifacio
downloaded from Wikipedia
Here are the posters that my son made: