It was the day before the presidential inauguration of 2017 when a school bus filled with students from Lake Forest Academy in Illinois pulled into the lot of George Washington’s Mount Vernon for a visit.
Their mission, explain Lake Forest Advanced Placement U.S. history teachers Suzy Vaughn and Christian Dozois (pictured below), was to explore the plantation that was home to the nation’s first U.S. president — and to learn about the treasures found in the stacks of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
“These students are very interested in history and politics,” explains Dozois.
“Being that we are in town to experience a historic occasion, we also thought it was essential that they see firsthand the places that they’d usually only read about in history books.”
What they saw throughout Mount Vernon didn’t disappoint Kayla, a high school junior: “I am realizing more and more how important it is to preserve history. Today, we had the chance to look up close at the leaders who lived during the American Revolution, and I think that’s really important because it makes it easier to understand what they did, and why they did it. I really enjoy getting to look into their daily lives.”
Scroll down to learn more about their trip — and discover how you and your family can use the resources at Mount Vernon to learn to think like a historian, too.