Oct. 14, 2016


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier  

Staci Fahlsing, middle school
social studies teacher at Center
for Inquiry School 84
, spent
part of her fall break putting the finishing touches on the curriculum she will
cover during the school’s eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C.


While many subjects are
covered during the trip, including science, language arts, music, art and even
math, “nothing is covered as extensively as social studies,” said Fahlsing.African American Museum of History and Culture


The five-day trip (Oct.
26-31), is one of the ways eighth-grade students in CFI’s International
Baccalaureate Middle Years Fahlsing Program can connect to the curriculum.
It’s also one
that Fahlsing insists all of her students experience.


Planning begins the fall semester of a
student’s seventh-grade year. Students, their families, the Middle School
Planning Committee and the PTSA organize a number of yearlong fundraisers to
cover the cost for their class to travel to the District of Columbia (D.C.) during
fall semester of eighth grade.


This is the second year that
Fahlsing’s Grade 8 students will travel to the nation’s capital.


“I am super excited for this trip because I
love to see the look on the kids’ faces,” said Fahlsing, who has worked in the
IPS district for 21 years. “They get so excited and amazed at what they are
seeing. I especially love seeing their faces at the changing of the guard (at
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery)! They are always
so mesmerized at watching the process of the inspection and changing!”


Indiana Academic Standards for Grade 8 U.S. history begins with a brief
review of early history, including the American Revolution and Founding Era, and
the principles of the United States and Indiana constitutions, as well as other
founding documents and their applications to subsequent periods of national
history and to civic and political life. Students then study national
development, westward expansion, social reform movements, the Civil War and the
Reconstruction period. Students examine major themes, issues, events, movements
and figures in U.S. history through the Reconstruction period (1863-1877) and
explore relationships to modern issues and current events. 


“Going to Washington, D.C. allows students to see first-hand
the amazing government that we have,” said Fahlsing. “We visit such sites as
the White House, the Capitol building, the Supreme Court building, Lincoln
Memorial, the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon. No other field trip
supports a curriculum more than Washington, D.C. for Grade 8 students in


Personally, Fahlsing is most excited to see the National Museum of African American History and
Culture, which opened Sept. 24. “I have been following the work that has
gone into this museum over the years and am so excited to get to experience it
within the first month of its opening!”


Because of the extremely high demand for tickets to this
newest Smithsonian museum, it wasn’t
confirmed until recently that the museum would be included in the trip. “One of
our Girl Scout troops in our school always shares during Black History Month
that ‘African-American history is OUR
history,’” said Fahlsing, who believes there is a wealth of African-American culture
and history that is often overlooked in curriculum. “I plan on incorporating a
lot of this experience into my biggest unit of the year.” 


When asked what she wants her students to take
away from the weeklong experience, Fahlsing said, “As we travel by bus to D.C.,
I hope my students will make note of the issues and struggles our nation is
dealing with, and then will choose to use this experience to reflect on how
they can contribute to making our country a better place for all.”