Academic Programs –> Oxon Hill Farm
Oxon Hill Farm / Woodlawn Manor
Students learn an African hand game where they must simultaneously clap, sing, and pass a rock.
Two students race to carry their water-filled buckets.
It takes some arm muscle to grind corn into meal using a mortal and pestle.
| Pre-trip lesson: Students explore the history of slavery, with a focus on slavery in colonial America. Students study the journey slaves made on the Middle Passage, as well as what awaited them once they reached the shores of the new land. Students also discuss daily life for slaves, the Underground Railroad, and motivations for escape.|
Trip: At Oxon Hill Farm, students explore first-hand what daily life was like for slaves through the lens of the slaves that lived on the farm. They explore how slaves expressed themselves through their music, religion, and even food. Students also grapple with the idea of holding people as property and explore the interactions between the slaves and the owners of the farm. The trip also includes a tractor-ride over the property.
At Woodlawn Manor, students also explore first-hand what daily life was like for slaves. They learn songs and play games slaves brought over from Africa. They view period objects and tools, such as toys and a spinning loom. Students also try to transport water and crush corn into meal. Finally, the class travels the Underground Railroad, learning how slaves looked and listened carefully to ensure safe passage.
Post-trip lesson: As a culminating activity, students engage in a debate over the issue of slavery. In teams, students either defend or argue against whether slavery was a good thing for the emerging nation. After the debates, each student writes a short paragraph defending his/her personal opinion about the slavery issue. Students also test their knowledge of early American slavery as they compete in a collaborative review game and take written assessments.
Academic Standards: Reading (4.LD-O.7, 4.W-E.4); Mathematics (4.M.1); Social Studies (4.7.5)