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Image to lead article

The Elucidating Grannies Follow Whispering Bones to Historic Jamestown

The Elucidating Grannies chose Jamestown as the first stop on our exploration of Colonial National Historical Park in Williamsburg, Virginia. The whisper of bones lured us there. British colonists erected the fort on the James River in 1607, making it the first permanent British settlement in North America. It was the logical first step on our quest to understand the nation’s colonial roots. But Liz and I also thought Jamestown would pique the interest of our grandkids--Eva, Abby, and Aydan. Because of research I’d done for my book Tomb Raiders: Real Tales of Grave Robberies, I knew Jamestown’s bones had a grisly story to tell about desperate people trying to survive in a desperate time.
Image of the Grannies

The Elucidating Grannies

On June 12, 2021, my sister Liz and I launched the inaugural journey of the Elucidating Grannies. Joining us were my nine-year-old granddaughter Eva and my sister’s two oldest grandchildren, Aydan, age 11, and Abby, age 10. Our destination: The Historic Triangle at Williamsburg, Virginia. Our goal: to take our progeny on a time travelling adventure in which they explore colonial and revolutionary era American history. Our mission: Through travel experiences, we will help our grandchildren learn history and social issues through the soles of their feet and connections they make with their hearts.
completed diorama

Dioramas in the Classroom—Fun and Effective Project Based Learning

In the digital world of the 21st century, are dioramas an effective teaching tool? Some educators want teachers to abandon sugar cubes and shoe boxes for more high tech activities, insisting dioramas do not require students to engage in complex problem solving and critical thinking. However, there is no reason to dump the diorama. With a well-structured lesson, building a diorama requires students to analyze primary sources, deeply understand content, support a thesis, and solve engineering challenges to build a structure that incorporates key elements of design. Dioramas are sophisticated stuff.