Friday, June 12, 2015

Parsnips and the President

When I was 15 I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with 40 other 4-Hers for about 3 weeks.  We left Lewiston, Idaho and headed for Washington DC.  We stayed there for a week and then headed home.  We were in Washington DC for Club Congress and Leadership Training.

We saw so many wonderful things.  One highlight was our visit to Thomas Jefferson's home Monticello.  I remember being in awe of all the things he invented.  I remember standing out front and our tour guide pointing to the Smoky Mountains in the distance.

I still have the reproduction butter stamp that I bought in the gift store. Sometimes the odd nickle will trigger a walk down memory lane.   What does this have to do with parsnips or Presidents?  Well long story short.  When Thomas Jefferson's name comes up I will often stop to check things out.

This morning I had been on the TPS Teachers Network and from there read a post from Teaching With the Library of Congress Blog  As I was reading another post caught my eye.

Teaching with Thomas Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart  by Cheryl Lederle .  She shares a wonderful resource, a chart that shows when certain vegetables were available over a two year period.  This chart was among Thomas Jefferson's papers in the Library of Congress.

It made me think of possible connections.  Comparing and contrasting regions, products, graphs.  Lots of Math and Science possibilities.  Then it made me think of weather.  What weather records would be available for that region.  So many questions.  I wonder how many of my students have even tasted parsnips?


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