Information about Monticello

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Victoria Albis

TEDU 591

Field Trip Assignment:


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Information about Monticello:

Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the United States. The plantation-style house is located in Charlottesville on a large property with gardens and additional buildings to explore, such as the slave houses, gift shops, and antique kitchen. Monticello is available for field trips, with the submission of an online field trip request form. There is a group policy of 25 individuals max or 10 students minimum per group; each group of students should have at least two teachers with them at all times. In addition, there are several different tours available with varying time lengths. These include a 45 minute tour, 2 ½ hours tour around Jefferson’s little mountain, or a 4 hour guided tour around the house, grounds, and activity stations. All in all, Monticello is an excellent place for a social studies field trip!


931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902


$25 (March-October), $20 (November- February), $9 (Children 5-11 all year round). Children under 5 years old are free, any time of the year.

Grade Level:

3rd, 4th, 5th

Related VA SOLs:

Civics 3.11- The student will explain the importance of the basic principles that form the foundation of a republican form of government by a)  describing the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and equality under the law; b)  identifying the contributions of George Washington; Thomas Jefferson; Abraham Lincoln; Rosa Parks; Thurgood Marshall; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Cesar Chavez; c)  recognizing that Veterans Day and Memorial Day honor people who have served to protect the country’s freedoms, d)  describing how people can serve the community, state, and nation.

VS.5- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by a)  identifying the reasons why the colonies went to war with Great Britain, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence; b)  identifying the various roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians in the Revolutionary War era, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and James Lafayette; c)  identifying the importance of the Battle of Great Bridge, the ride of Jack Jouett, and the American victory at Yorktown.

VS.6- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by a)  explaining why George Washington is called the “Father of our Country” and James Madison is called the “Father of the Constitution”; b)  identifying the ideas of George Mason and Thomas Jefferson as expressed in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom; c)  explaining the influence of geography on the migration of Virginians into western territories.

USI.6- The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes and results of the American Revolution by a)  identifying the issues of dissatisfaction that led to the American Revolution; b)  identifying how political ideas shaped the revolutionary movement in America and led to the Declaration of Independence;

c)  describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry;

d)  explaining reasons why the colonies were able to defeat Great Britain.


Using a promethium board and internet access, the teacher will pull up the website and access the “Monticello Explorer” and give a brief overview of the resource. Note: the Monticello Explorer includes a virtual tour of the house with a variety of 3-D models and animations. The students will be put into partners and assigned to a computer in the classroom to explore the Monticello Explorer first-hand. During this time, they will be given a handout to be completed as they are exploring the website. The handout will allow the students to become familiar with people, spaces, and places involving Monticello. The students will be given 15-20 minutes to access the website and complete the worksheet. Afterwards, there will be a class discussion with the teacher asking the students to share the following:

  • What did you observe during the online activity?

  • What did you learn about Thomas Jefferson and Monticello?

  • What do you still wonder about the 3rd president? Any lingering questions to share?

During Trip:

  • Before leaving for the field trip to Monticello, create a KWL chart on poster paper and place it on the white board at the front of the room. Ask the students to raise their hands to share what they think they know about Thomas Jefferson. Write their answers clearly on the paper and encourage student involvement by asking follow-up questions such as: How do you know? Can you tell me more? Does anyone want to add to what he/she said? At Monticello, the teacher should encourage the students to write down their observations and make notes as they are exploring the house and grounds. The students will be asked to share their notes and observations upon returning to the classroom. In addition, the students will have to complete the brief scavenger hunt worksheet as well. The scavenger hunt worksheet will require the students to listen closely to the tour guides and pay close attention to their surroundings. It will also require the students to identify various influences in Thomas Jefferson’s life, his accomplishments, and impact on America as a growing country. The students will keep their scavenger hunt worksheets in their clipboard until it is collected later in the classroom.


  • After the field trip is completed, have the students complete the rest of the KWL chart on the white board at the front of the room. Ask the students what they learned from their experiences at Monticello. Their answers can include (but not limited to) facts about Thomas Jefferson, influences, historical connections, and overall importance of the influential leader. Then, call on students (with raised hands) to share one thing that they still wonder about Monticello, Thomas Jefferson, or his role in the revolution of America. Afterwards, have the students take out their clipboards from the Monticello field trip and place their observations (or notes) and scavenger hunt worksheet on their desks. Pair the students with a partner, to share their notes and observations with one another; encourage them to ask each other questions about what they wrote. Remind the students that these questions should center on the field trip itself! Then, review the scavenger-hunt worksheets as a class by calling on the students to share their answers. After the class discussion, allow the students to illustrate a picture of their favorite part of Monticello and describe why it was their favorite. The students would then do a gallery walk around the classroom to explore the works of other students.


I absolutely loved visiting Monticello for this field trip assignment! As our tour began, I quickly realized that the location was a wonderful place for students to learn about Thomas Jefferson, his life, and influences on our country. In fact, the plantation and grounds offer a variety of tours for educational purposes and welcomes field trips from schools all around Virginia. Even as a future educator, it doesn’t get better than that! The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and helpful with any questions being asked. As a result, I believe I learned a lot about Thomas Jefferson and how I could incorporate a field trip to this location in order to strengthen student understanding of the influential leader as well as the American revolution. As an elementary school teacher, it may be difficult to visit the location due to the expense of the tour and travel. However, I am encouraged by the amount of online resources available that are interactive and engaged. All in all, Monticello rocks!

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