Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
Located right outside of Nashville, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage offers endless opportunities for students to engage in some hands-on learning.
“We strive to provide as many ‘out-of-classroom’ experiences as we can,” said Erin Adams, director of education for Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. “Students can take a walking tour of slavery-related sites on the farm. They can practice the skills of an archaeologist by participating in a mock excavation. They can work in teams to create stories about Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. They can learn to raise, lower and fold the American flag. Wagon rides are available as well as The Duel and Horse Race re-enactments, which bring students directly into the action of life in the 19th century.”
A visit to the Hermitage gives students an in-depth look into Jackson’s life and legacy as the seventh president of the United States. As Jackson’s homeplace, the Hermitage occupies 1,120 acres for groups to explore. The Hermitage opened in 1889, making it one of the oldest and largest historic site museums in the United States.
“When a teacher books an educational program, they are signing the students up for a guided exploration of historical documents, images and artifacts that reveal more about Jackson’s life and time,” Adams said. “Our educators facilitate learning through games, conversation, art projects and language arts. Topics covered include the difficult ones, such as slavery and Indian Removal, as well as childhood on the plantation, archaeology and civics education.
“Our primary goal is to provide students with activities that allow them to exercise their historical thinking skills: analyzing resources; synthesizing data; developing empathy; structuring arguments; recognizing continuity, change and compromise; and making the past relevant to the present and future.” Adams recommends educators book visits as early as possible, with March, May and October being the busiest months. Discounts are offered for student groups for 15 or more.
For more information call 615-889-2941 or go to thehermitage.com/education.