This afternoon I went on a field trip to the Smithsonian’s Museum of National History—a virtual field trip, that is. The 22-minute video tour of the site is introduced by author David Baldacci and divided into four sections:
1. Welcome; Lewis and Clark Compass
2. Star Spangled Banner
3. David Drake Pottery
4. Lincoln’s Pocket Watch
The field trip is designed for K-12 students and their teachers who want to explore historic objects and connect them with American history. Anyone can take the free field trip and download the supplementary materials and activities at the site, however.
As a writer of historical fiction, I often use objects (such as a compass, a flag, a pot, a watch) as symbols for something going on in my plot. Exploring the objects on the virtual field trip reminds me that I should do more of that in my narrative text.