Feb 12

Field Trips - Part 2!

Posted by John Kuckens in Graduate Admissions on Feb 12, 2014

Wyckoff house, East Flatbush Brooklyn (courtesy wyckoffmuseum.org)

Did you know about Castle Clinton? I had no idea about it until we took second graders there last fall. It is one of the oldest buildings in Manhattan, and has been converted, re-converted, or restored so many times it boggles the mind. It has been an opera house, museum, immigration center, and an aquarium. It began as a fort that was surrounded by water, but as lower Manhattan was filled in, it is now landlocked. There was a room with 3 incredible dioramas, which showed how the landscape in Lower Manhattan changed so much since the beaver pelt obsessed 1620s. Students answered questions and sketched the changes in their sketchpads. There is a promenade that runs down the Hudson to explore as well. It's right in Battery Park, around where the West Side Highway goes underground and near the Staten Island ferry terminal. It was a great trip for a warm fall day.

Speaking of one of the oldest buildings in New York, have you heard about the actual oldest building in New York? Another field trip from last fall was the Pieter Wyckoff House. This was a bus trip to the East Flatbush/Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, where this little house miraculously still stands amongst car dealerships, a bus depot, and auto-repair facilities. The tour guides were wonderful. They took us from the oldest part of the house to the newest, told the students about life on the farm, and gracefully fielded one student's amazing criticism about the fact that the Wyckoffs were slave owners. They also showed the students how to make butter by shaking up buttermilk, and had objects from the 1600s for students to explore such as a yoke and clogs. This was a great half-day trip if you can get the busses organized. There wasn't much to see or walk to in the area, but the plot of land the house is on was fenced in nicely from the street, so the kids could run around after they ate their bagged lunches. There are picnic tables in the shade of old trees and a lovely garden as well.

tagged field trips, student teaching, supervised fieldwork
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