Boston Trip Brings Curriculum to Life


North Salem Middle School seventh-grade students recently returned from the annual trip to Boston, where they witnessed history come to life.

“The trip is a culminating experience for the entire class,” said teacher Karen Koestner. “As a team, we work very closely designing our curriculum to meet the New York State standards for all our disciplines, and the trip to Boston is the icing on the cake.”

The seventh-grade history curriculum covers the time period between the first early Americans through Reconstruction after the Civil War.

Highlights of the trip included the Granary Cemetery, where students learned that the cemetery’s unusual history includes stories of headstone switching and spooky images on the markers.

“This experience can never be felt from just reading a textbook,” Ms. Koestner said.

Other highlights included a Blue Man Group performance, where students observed the importance of verbal and non-verbal gestures in a public speaking setting, a visit to Plimouth Plantation and a lighthearted Duck Tour.

“At Plimouth Plantation, our students really understand how human decisions shaped not only our environment, but also our foundations of government,” said Ms. Koestner. “The Duck Tours’ story-telling captains are very funny and tell stories of historic Boston, including urban legends and myths.”

Students and teachers agree that the two-day trip helps bring to life months worth of history lessons learned in the classroom.

“This trip says more to the students than I could every say in a few months,” said Ms. Koestner. “As we walked along the Freedom Trail and listened to the story-telling guides, they shared with us stories of long ago, and we seemed to be able to hear the whispers of our founding fathers.”