The 5th grade Upper Elementary students took a virtual field trip to Monticello, the plantation owned by Thomas Jefferson. This was a culmination of their study of the Civil War through the lens of the historical fiction novel, The River Between Us, by Richard Peck.
During this experience, they investigated the paradox of Thomas Jefferson as a champion of liberty and freedom, yet a lifelong enslaver. They learned about specific enslaved people who lived and worked at Monticello, and how they retained family ties and humanity in a dehumanizing system of oppression. Students were also introduced to Monticello’s “Giving Word African American Oral History Project”, which works to preserve the histories of African American families and their descendants.