Field trips provide a good learning experience

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

Students in the 2nd and 3rd grade gifted program at Westside Elementary School had the opportunity to learn about their family tree during a field trip earlier this month.

During the trip, students visited the Hilda Hoffman Memorial Archive and learned about their family’s past by researching public records, old photographs and cemetery records.

Activities such as this not only give children an opportunity to learn more about their family’s history, but also teaches them skills that will benefit them later in life.

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When conducting research, whether it is for a school-related project or for personal benefit, most people open their Internet browser on their smartphone, tablet or computer and use a search engine in the hopes of a quick answer. But sometimes, extensive research needs to be conducted and in order to obtain the results necessary, at times the research of hard-copy documents such as books, encyclopedias, old photographs and old newspapers is required.

Researching data through hard-copy documents is a time-consuming activity and takes longer than an electronic search. But, by teaching children how to properly perform such tasks at an early age, it can help them find the answers and data they are looking for in a more efficient manner in the future.

Also, hard copy research gives children an opportunity to learn more about their family’s past and where their ancestors lived and where they came from.

Nowadays, it is common for people to relocate to different cities or countries, so by doing some research on the topic, children and anyone interested in their family roots might discover interesting facts about past family members. Some of those facts could include information about how a relative might have lived in cities such as Biloxi or Scooba and later relocated to Picayune. Or maybe even discover that their family has roots in a distant land. Learning more about our family’s past is an activity we should all think about doing today.