Clio’s Kids: A History Mini-Camp: Time Travelers
In our “Time Travelers” camp we explored what life was like in Alexandria’s past and how we learn about our history. We played games, read stories, and visited places related to different aspects of our city's history each day of camp. Look below to find more books to read, local places to visit, and websites to learn more about our camp theme.
Learn More About It!
|We saw artifacts from World War II, including homefront ration books and stamps and Alexandria resident Raymond Gallagher’s helmet, boots, and bugle.||We practiced using our ration books when we shopped in our World War II store.|
|We learned about firefighting history at Friendship Firehouse Museum.||Alexandria Archaeology Museum’s summer campers showed us how to use toothbrushes to clean the artifacts they found.|
Thomas, Peggy and Layne Johnson. Farmer George Plants a Nation. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek, 2008.
Author Thomas focuses on George Washington’s work as a farmer and scientist at his Mount Vernon estate, and how those roles contributed to his leadership in helping to create an independent nation. You can find it in the Alexandria and Fairfax County libraries.
Van Leeuwen, Jean and Marco Ventura. The Amazing Air Balloon. New York: Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2003.
Van Leeuwen imagines the story of a real boy named Edward Warren, the first person to ride in a balloon in America; Edward's ride was in Baltimore, MD in the summer of 1784. You can find it in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County libraries.
Fleming, Candace and S. D. Schindler. A Big Cheese for the White House: The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1999.
The author’s version of the creation of a “Mammoth” cheddar cheese wheel (weighing 1,235 pounds!) by the citizens of Cheshire, Massachusetts and its journey as a gift to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House. You can find it in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County libraries.
Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald and E. B. Lewis. Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000.
Author Fitzgerald imagines the story of her great-aunt Virgie’s seven-mile walk to her first day of school with her brothers. Virgie and her six brothers attended a Quaker school for former slaves in post-Civil War Jonesborough, Tennessee, and she bases this book upon stories told by her relatives and her own research. You can find it in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County libraries.
Osborne, Mary Pope and Steve Johnson. New York's Bravest. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
Standing eight feet tall, with enough strength to lift a trolley, Mose the firefighter helps put out fires all over bustling 1840s New York City. Gorgeous illustrations and simple text are used to relate this story in the tradition of Paul Bunyon. Osbourne drew upon fictionalized stories of real-life firefighter Mose Humphreys to create her story of this urban folk hero. The book is available in Alexandria and Fairfax libraries.
Houston, Gloria and Lloyd Bloom. But No Candy. New York: Philomel Books, 1992.
Five-year old Lee looks forward to her special treat each day – a nickel’s worth of candy from her father’s general store if she’s good. But when America starts fighting in the war, Uncle Ted leaves to fight and the candy disappears from the shelves of her father’s store. This picture book shows the war through the eyes of a young child as she grows up in America during World War II. You can find it in the Alexandria and Fairfax County libraries.
Stevenson, James. Don’t You Know There’s a War On? New York: Greenwillow Books, 1992.
Author and illustrator James Stevenson recalls his childhood efforts to win the war by looking for spies, planting a victory garden, writing a newspaper, and collecting tinfoil. You can find it in the Arlington and Fairfax County libraries.
The National World War II Museum – Projects to Do at Home
Find instructions for five World War II-related projects you can do at home, including templates for cut-out puppets and a code-breaking activity.
Wartime for children in Britain was both similar and different than wartime for children in America. Topical sections like “Food and Rationing,” “Growing Up in Wartime,” and “Children at War,” include photographs and images of letters and documents. Under the “Activities” section, follow Vera, a British girl, on a virtual tour of wartime home. Go shopping in 1943 with your ration book and see what you can buy. Read excerpts from letters and look at pictures.
A selection of photographs and posters of America during World War II. Be sure to click on image #16 “Sugar Rationing” to see an example of lining up for rationed items. Image #17 shows a boy using his ration book to buy a can of vegetable juice.
Visit the museum’s small exhibition and try a hands-on activity. You may even find some volunteers washing, marking and cataloguing artifacts from the latest dig, like we saw during our field trip! Check out their programs page to learn more about participation in family dig days and other events.
The Friendship Fire Company, established in 1774, was the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. The current firehouse was built in 1855. The Engine Room on the first floor houses hand-drawn fire engines and historic fire-fighting equipment. The second floor Meeting Room contains ceremonial objects such as parade uniforms, capes, banners and other regalia.
An outdoor component of the “Within These Walls…” exhibition, the 130-foot-long Victory Garden is planted on the terrace outside the National Museum of American History's cafeteria. The “Within These Walls…” exhibition, on the 2nd floor, covers the stories of five families who lived in one New England house, including the Scott family who lived there during World War II.