Benjamin 7th graders spent March 28 delving into The Gilded Age during a field trip to the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach. The middle school students were each given a research topic and asked to choose a primary source from the museum’s archives.
“Rather than doing a traditional research paper, students were asked to write a series of research articles about topics related to the Gilded Age that, when finished, will be posted to a website groups are creating to teach others about this period in history,” head of middle school Charles Hagy said.
Each student took on the role of a researcher to discover and present information about the Gilded Age, including whether the period was good for the United States and what effects industrialization had on society. Hagy, who lead the field trip, said the most exciting part of the project was the primary resource research with the Flagler Museum.
“The Museum Archivist made copies of primary resources from the Flagler collection for students to use in their research. This was a unique opportunity for students to develop the skills necessary to learn about and use a variety of primary sources in the research. The best part of the project for me was that it allowed us to spend time studying our local history in Palm Beach county as it related to Henry Flagler. This project helped bring the Flagler Museum to life for our 7th grade students, and - most importantly - motivated many to return again in the future to dig deeper into this important period in time.”