This past week, the second grade took a trip to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village to specifically explore the innovative minds of Henry Ford and Elijah McCoy. Before leaving, Mrs. McMillan (2nd grade teacher extraordinaire) previewed two biographies of these inventors to allow the students to make predictions about what kind of things they invented, and give the students clues on what to look for while we were studying at the museum.
When we arrived, the students were beyond enthralled by the incredible amounts of new and old cars, planes, and machines scattered throughout the building. There was a constant buzz of excitement, lots of tugging on sleeves, and quiet cries exclaiming, “Whoa! Look at that!”. After our initial exploration, our students sought out places in the museum where they could find more specific information on Elijah McCoy and Henry Ford. Throughout our time there, the students answered questions in their field notebook like, “Where did this innovator begin his work?” and “What was an important event that changed this innovator’s life?”. They looked at the problems these two men were faced with, how they persevered, overcame the problem, and found a solution.
After a delicious picnic lunch in the grass (it was a perfect Michigan fall day), we headed over to Greenfield Village where we were able to step foot in the actual childhood home of Henry Ford. A tour guide showed us around, telling stories of the different artifacts in the home, and allowing our students the opportunity to step into Henry Ford’s shoes and ask important questions about his life. We were also able to look around his garage and work space which were filled to the brim with old tools, machinery, and car parts.
Our entire staff is constantly blown away by the hard-work and curiosity each and every one of our students show, and our day with second grade at the Henry Ford Museum was no exception. Our student’s drive for knowledge and understanding the world around them is truly inspiring!