Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Charleston Currents feature- October 2013

Four ways for children to find local history preserved
By LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents
OCT. 21, 2013 -- When it comes to learning about our rich local history, I like to find ways to visually reinforce the facts so that my children can easily recall images linked with historical details.
In Charleston, we are spoiled for choice with historic sites, local art, books and photography that can all come together as teaching aids outside of a classroom. As an extension to a lesson plan, why not take your children to the precise spot where the historical event occurred? Reading children's books tailored to the subject and studying old photographs are also ways to ingrain local history into the mind of a child and help them feel more connected to their hometown. In terms of an impressive local history, we certainly have it all here in Charleston and here are four easy ways to see it through the eyes of a child:
  • Photography And The American Civil War at the Gibbes Museum of Art: Now through January 5, you and your children can soak in the images of the Civil War battlefields preserved in these remarkable photographs displayed in tintypes, tiny breast-pocket photos carried by soldiers, and other personal artifacts in this exhibition. This blog post on Pluff Mud Kids details the exhibition which is a perfect complement for any school curriculum. My children felt as if they had been immersed in the lives of the soldiers depicted here for the time we spent here at the museum and the visual images made a lasting impression they will always associate with this piece of our nation's history. More.
  • The USS Yorktown: If your children have never witnessed the USS Yorktown firsthand, put it on your list of places to get to this year to make a massive historical impression. Touring this aircraft carrier is a hands-on way to learn about the roles the vessel has played as both a commissioned and now decommissioned military craft. This feels like a playground to a child and will make for a memorable learning experience. For details, click here. (Photo by Leigh Sabine.)
  • The Fiddlers of Sullivan's Island: This new book for children (adults will love it, too) by local author Jeanie Heath transports the reader to Sullivan's Island and the home of the fiddler crabs. Beautifully illustrated with local photography, Heath has preserved this island history and shares it with generations to come. To preview the book, click here for the Pluff Mud Kids blog post. Pick up a copy of the book locally at Royal Ace Hardware or purchase on Amazon and make this a favorite bedtime story while learning about the natural habitat of our local fiddler crabs. More.
  • Hampton Plantation picnic: For a great picnic spot steeped in history, I can't recommend Hampton Plantation enough. Located in McClellanville, S.C., this plantation home is the ideal backdrop for a lesson in history and dates back to 1735. You can sit in the shade of an oak tree preserved by none other than George Washington while you talk about the historical relevance of this beautiful plantation home that once belonged to the Rutledge family. A picnic is a favorite way for children to happily associate a historic site with an important part of American history. For more details on viewing Hampton Plantation with children, visit this blog post.
Writer Leigh Sabine of Mount Pleasant offers a monthly look at fun activities for Lowcountry kids. It's based on her great blog, PluffMudKids. Check it out. (Photos by Leigh Sabine.)

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