20 Questions for Reading and Evaluating Historic Places

An analysis worksheet prompting students to read and analyze historic places using twenty questions. The worksheet may be used during field trips to historic places or in a classroom setting while using virtual tours or digital images of historic spaces. Included are links to Mount Vernon's virtual tour in Virginia and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

The “20 Questions” series worksheets from George Washington’s Mount Vernon are designed to guide students in a structured exploration of new primary sources. Each set of questions moves from concrete observations to an analysis of the source’s relationship to people that lived in the past. The last questions ask students to make larger conclusions about the culture of the time to inform a final writing prompt. Included with each worksheet are primary sources from George Washington’s world.

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Ice Cream at Mount Vernon

An inquiry-based module that provides primary and secondary sources to help students answer the question: Why was ice cream an exclusive treat at Mount Vernon long ago? Using a familiar sweet treat as an entry point, students research and analyze the lives of enslaved individuals, as well as the specialized skills and objects that went into serving a single dish of ice cream. Source materials include farm reports, material culture objects, rooms, maps, and biographies. This project was developed in partnership with McGraw Hill Education. 

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