Germantown: Program Seeks Fun in History

Students enjoyed the hands-on history lesson at the Johnson House.
Students enjoyed the hands-on history lesson at the Johnson House.

Excited children, eager to raise their hands, are not characteristics often found in fifth-grade history classes.

As Philadelphia is filled with much of the nation’s history, History Hunters was started as a way to involve children in the learning process. The education program, which has four participating sites throughout Germantown, follows the state curriculum standards for fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms in Pennsylvania.

History Hunters Program Coordinator Kaelyn Taylor said, “There was a lack of a program that engaged students with their neighborhood history and many teachers were unable to get students to… museums.” History Hunters is a subsidized program that allows teachers to utilize the Germantown neighborhood as a resource and provides free supplies, transportation and admission for elementary school history lessons.

At the sites, which are Stenton, Cliveden, Wyck and the Johnson House, the children are able to dress up and reenact scenarios from the 1500s. “We also want to provide a mechanism for increasing literacy, which we do by providing workbooks with reading and writing activities for the students to complete before and after their visits,” Taylor said.

Servicing all Philadelphia City Schools, Taylor said the year-long program seeks to accomplish one major goal. “We want [the students] to get excited about history!”

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