Sunday, May 30, 2010

Students: Why Visit Savannah?

(letter to seventh graders, introducing a workbook that will accompany them to Savannah in September.)

Dear Student,

You walk up steps every school day. Do you know how many?  Most of us can't answer that question.  As Sherlock Holmes said, “People see, but do not observe.”  How many of us just pass through the world without observing most of what we see?

When you visit your grandmother, do you observe what her home tells about her past? Have you looked where she keeps her wedding dress, childhood treasures, and letters from her own grandmother?  If so, then you pass through time when you walk through her home. Do you ever ask her about her childhood?   She asks you about yours!  She wants to tell you about the people and places that made her who she is, if only you’d ask.   She raised someone who raises you, so, deep down, her past is a part of your past, too.

Savannah is our state’s beautiful grandmother, and Savannah will be telling us stories of her early life, a life that’s a part of the past of every Georgian and every American.    She “talks” through guides, but also through what you see.  The people of her past tell you stories through their buildings, designs, and artwork. 

This booklet will be your source for notes, quotes, and examples when you return to school and write for your teachers about what you learned.  The questions here will help you to “hear” what Savannah says.  Make notes on what you observe, and make notes on the stories you hear from guides.  Make notes, too, about how it all affects you, and about your friends. 

Someday, this booklet may be the souvenir of a trip that made a difference in your life, a memory of a fun time when you outgrew a stage of childhood, something for a grandchild to find in your attic.

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