OK Kids, can anyone tell me what THIS is?

> Yesterday I took a small sample of material from the Nicholson Whaling collection to a 3rd grade class at the Wheeler School. It’s great good fun to speak in front of a gaggle (about 30) of 8- and 9-year-olds about something they are studying in school, especially when they ask “is that real?!?” and you can say, “yes, this is the real thing!”

The students do a whole unit (3 months) on whaling, including field trips to the New Bedford Whaling Museum (http://www.whalingmuseum.org/) and to Mystic Seaport (http://www.mysticseaport.org/). When their teacher realized that an incredible whaling collection existed right here in Providence, she called me up and asked for a presentation.

The students were great, and the teachers were impressed as well, since my box of goodies included several pieces of scrimshaw (busks, some teeth, two pie crimpers, and a walrus tusk carved with polar bears and seals), three whale stamps, a case which held ship’s papers, a couple of crew lists and “four-language”sea letters, and a logbook that we recently acquired. The kids came up with lots of questions, several of which I couldn’t answer, but that’s the fun of it. They apparently talked about the presentation all through their subsequent lunch break–and who can ask for more than that?

One thought on “OK Kids, can anyone tell me what THIS is?

  1. I love this! Did the kids get to touch anything? How often do you get to visit classrooms? Have you been back since? What a great way to catch them early and leave a memory of how fun historical research can be!

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