There are so many places to visit in Washington, D.C.! There is one large chain of places to visit just within 2 miles of each other on the National Mall called the Smithsonians. The Smithsonian Institution is made up of 19 museums, 9 research centers, 12 public gardens, and a zoo! This castle, pictured on the left, is the welcome center where you can plan your visits and itinerary to make sure you are able to visit all of your "must sees." Each museum/site is full of incredible information, hands-on activities, amazing sights, and many historical items! James Smithson, a English scientist who loved to learn, left his fortune as a gift to the U.S. He never actually set foot in the U.S. while he was alive. However, you can visit his crypt at the castle on the National Mall. He wanted to share his love of learning with people and didn't want them to have to spend any money in order to learn; and that is where the Smithsonian Institution came from! This is why all of the Smithsonians are free to visitors. Before I decided where to begin my Smithsonian journey, I used the Smithsonian Trip Planner (see picture below). Here you could follow the directions on a screen and select your topics of interest, the "must sees" that people come to view, and then decide how long you plan on visiting in D.C. Next, you can email yourself the list of information and it will plan out your route for you! This resource was pretty helpful! Also in the castle building, there was a fun mosaic screen that would take your picture and then turn it into a mosaic using thousands of mini pictures of your choice of interests at the Smithsonians. You can see our picture below. It was quite unique!
I decided that the American History Museum would be a good starting point for my journey. The museum is made up of 3 floors with two wings that make up several different displays. Each exhibit is so well done and contains a lot of information! In short, it took me three different visits approximately 2 hours in length to finish going through the whole museum! And, I didn't even read everything! I had to skim over parts of the museum and choose what was the most interesting to focus on (which was hard!)! Otherwise I would have been there all summer! Check out the photos below and the descriptions to see a bit of my journey through the American History Museum!
Meet Miss Coon
I love to learn new things! One great place to learn is by spending time in nature and the outdoors! Any opportunity that I can get to take a bike ride, hike, or walk I will gladly do it! I also love music and enjoy playing my flute at church and singing with my sisters. But most of all, I love kids. My passion is to teach children to inquire, and to love learning about this incredible world as I do. My students tend to think I love to learn just because I am a teacher. By modeling the struggle of learning and researching my own interests, I hope my students and others can follow my example and be empowered to seek after their questions to find answers in the midst of the struggle.