PBS Hosts "Field Trips" to Colonial America

PBS plans to host two Electronic Field Trips in Spring 1997 that explore life in colonial America. The "trips" combine live telecasts with online forums before, during and after the event. Students are linked via fax to experts in the field, and must perform activities that reinforce learning.

Scheduled for Feb. 28, "Of Kith and Kin" follows Paris, an 18th-century slave, who uses oral history and flashbacks to convey details of African-American family live. Paris discusses everything from a traditional "jumping the broom" wedding ceremony to the dilemma of married couples separated by their master.

Another field trip, "Backdraft: The Fire Engine in the Colonial Community" (March 20) focuses on the colonial fire engine as an emblem of communal cooperation. Historical interpreters will answer studentsí questions as they examine the trades that created the fire engine and the scientific principles that allowed Williamsburgís engine to be the most advanced for its time.

Schools enjoy recording rights for one full year from the date of the original broadcast. The spring events are part of the "American Democracy: Common Faces, Public Voices" series, produced by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. PBS Teacher Resource Service, Alexandria, VA, (703) 739-8118, www.pbs.org.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.