We think education takes place both inside and outside the classroom. So during the school year, we encourage partner teachers to incorporate field trips to local archives, historical sites and/or special exhibits.
And really, who doesn’t love a field trip? Ancestors unKnown students are no exception.
In previous years, we’ve gotten an enthusiastic response from students when they’re given an opportunity to learn outside the classroom. Sure, some of this excitement is about being anywhere but school (c’mon, we’re not living in the historical clouds here). But we think most of the excitement stems from making personal connections with their learning. The history is in their own communities. And in some cases, the names of their ancestors have been documented and preserved, waiting for the students to come find them.
Stay tuned for some video clips of our visit to the Archives!
Students learned some of the basics about researching family histories at the National Archives, tried their luck with researching their family names in the database, and got to take a peak behind the scenes in the stacks. The Archives staff was generous to pull specific documents, maps and photos that reflected some of the students’ own histories and the experiences of their ancestors, many of whom migrated to the Netherlands from Turkey, Morocco, Suriname and Indonesia.
This felt so special and personal. And based on their enthusiastic and engaged responses, the students appeared to connect with the archival material as we hoped.
Many thanks to the Dutch National Archives for welcoming Ancestors unKnown students with such a personalized presentation. We’re looking forward to expanding our collaboration with the Archives in the upcoming school year!