Students Enjoying Curriculum Developed at Woodlawn Teachers Institute

A central part of the Woodlawn mission is to work with local schools and provide educational experiences for students of all ages. So far this year, 640 students have been on the Woodlawn campus for programs completely free of charge using the proceeds from the Ellsworth Antiques Show.

Blue Hill 8th Graders Enjoyed a Full Day’s Curriculum at Woodlawn: On September 23rd, Woodlawn welcomed the 8th grade class from Blue Hill Consolidated School to experience a multi-faceted curriculum, Time Traveler Integration created by 8th grade teacher Kat Hudson. The curriculum addressed art, social studies, physical education, and English language arts. The students had fun “stepping into the shoes” of a person affiliated with the Black House in order to get a feel for the historical time period 1824-1920’s. They experienced croquet, a popular game of the time period toured the Black House, chose one of the portrait to sketch and walked the trails to explore the forest. Each activity had pre visit introductory lessons and post visit writing assignments and follow up. Ms. Hudson has been asked to present her project at an upcoming conference in Augusta for Maine teachers.

Ellsworth 6th Graders Enjoyed Hands-On Experience at Woodlawn: On October 15th, Woodlawn welcomed the entire 6th grade class from the Ellsworth Elementary Middle School to “step behind the ropes” for an up-close exploration of the rooms and a hands-on experience with selected pieces from the Black House collection. The eighty students were at Woodlawn for a half-day program designed by 6th grade teacher Becky Anderson. The program was her final project for the Woodlawn Teachers Institute she completed in July. The student’s learning objective was to compare items used in the Black House to its modern day equivalent through on-site analysis and photography and follow up research in their classrooms.

In preparation for their visit to Woodlawn, Joshua Torrance, Executive Director and Anne Russenberger-Keefe, Director of Education and program Development at Woodlawn visited the 6th grade classrooms to discuss and role model the proper procedure and handling of antiques. During the student’s visit, they formed teams and selected one item in the Black House to analyze using a material culture sheet created by Anderson. Woodlawn Trustee, Walter Smalling, a professional photographer with studios in Washington, D.C. and Penobscot, Maine presented on the art of photography and how one can pursue it as a career. He set up a small photo lab and demonstrated how to photograph each of the unique pieces selected by the students. Team photographs with the objects were taken for the students to have for their classrooms. Smalling summed up his experience by saying, “What a great day spent talking about photography and history with eighty local sixth-graders. It’s terrific that Woodlawn has such a strong commitment to educating our next generation.” Ms. Anderson reflected on seeing the students embrace the project and enjoy their visit, “Every time I visit Woodlawn I learn something new about this gem we have in Ellsworth. The same is true for our students. History really does come alive for them, and being able to tie the experience in with our social studies curriculum makes it even better.” Also included in the program was a brief history on the Black family and the Woodlawn estate.