After weeks of preparation (and one rain check due to inclement weather) Behind the Book and Mrs. Lebron’s Fourth Grade class at C.S. 21 were finally able to embark on a fantastic field trip last week. They visited eight of Brooklyn’s most notorious buildings as part of their research on Brooklyn landmarks through our program which placed The Brooklyn Bridge author, Elizabeth Mann, with this classroom of lively students.
With digital cameras hung snugly around their necks, students boarded the tour bus with high spirits in tow. Blessed with a knowledgeable tour guide from Levy’s Family Unique Tours, the students learned fun facts and details about the landmarks on each stop.
A beautiful day for a walk in the park, our first stop was at the Grecian Boathouse in Prospect Park. We were able to get up close to the old boathouse, and after recording its shape, size, material, and other miscellaneous details, the students snapped pictures of both the boathouse, and of course, the geese that swam in the river ahead. Judging from the “Oohs” and “Ahhs” from the kids, this was one of the top sites of the day, and what a treat to have it first.
From there, we covered Leffert’s homestead, the oldest Dutch house in the state, The Brooklyn Zoo, where naturally we wish we could’ve bought a day pass and stayed ogling those cute baby monkeys all day, the Brooklyn Public Library, picture seen below with our light saber toting tour guide, and followed by a dart across the street to the Grand Army Plaza.
It was great to witness the determination students had when trying to capture “the best shot.” Contemplating the building, where its finest features were, and even pointing out the details invisible to the naked eye, we were pleasantly surprised to see the kids harness their engagement with art.
A fine example of this was when we were standing under the Grand Army Plaza. As the students moved forward, we noticed two boys lagging behind. When we inquired as to what they were doing, each pointed excitedly to the under head of the Plaza monument, showing us the design depicted just over our heads that everyone else had failed to recognize when we all stood huddled together. They bounced around in their school sweatshirts and each told the other where and how to zoom in to get the best shot. While one snapped the picture the other wrote on their worksheets about the material, observations, and commentary of the architecture.
After a brief lunch at the Brooklyn Public Park, we headed towards the grand Brooklyn Bridge. Each student renewed with the energy that only lunchtime can bring, spent the next few minutes observing the bridge and discussing Mann’s The Brooklyn Bridge. Having been in the classroom nearly three weeks prior to the field trip, we were happy to see how well the students retained and rattled off their knowledge of the BK Bridge.
Ending our field trip with a visit to the Brooklyn Borough Hall, students ran up the steps in an effort to get as close as possible to the details of the building. Some preferred to photograph the monstrous landmark from further away, and we watched as each pair of partners scattered throughout the area in order to obtain their unique shot of the landmark.
All in all, a gallant success, we can’t wait to bring Ms. Mann back into the classroom next month. For more information on our programs and other field trips we’ve taken, please feel free to check us out here. If you are interested in volunteering with us please contact Bess, our volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.