Friday, December 2, 2011

Being a Tourist: Microbe Exhibit, Davy Crockett's Cabin, the Parthenon

Last week I took the kids on a trip down to Nashville to spend time with my sister, brother-in-law and their three kids. They are homeschoolers as well. They are in 5th, 7th and 10th grades. A little bit more about them in my next post.

We had a fantastic time with the family and also did a number of terrific outings.  Here are a few things we did:
Microbe Exhibit (eastern Tennessee off of I-81 and down I-26 about 5 or 10 miles) The other exhibit at Gray's Fossil Museum that I talked about a couple days ago.
This room talked about the Black Plague and the kids are looking at a mask like some people would wear to try to prevent the plague. Since some thought the plague was transferred through the air they wore these masks and had sweet smelling concoctions to try to keep the plague away.  This exhibit was great timing because we listened to the first disc of the second volume of the Story of the World on our long drive that talked about the Black Death. That wasn't planned, it was just pure chance and blind luck!  I bought all four volumes from someone at homeschoolclassified this summer and just love, love, love having the CDs to listen to in the car! 
This interactive castle showed us how our body has defenses just like the castle. Each part of the castle moved and explained how mucus, acids, etc. help keep our body safe from invasion.
Oh no! Microbes in the kitchen!
This room was super-duper neat!  It was lit with black lights and these viruses jumped out and were three dimensional. You can see ED trying to grab one in the picture below (I had to lift her up to see the viruses and she wouldn't let me put her back down again!)  A group of teenagers came to visit with their class and I heard comments like "Wow," "This is SO cool" and "Check this out!"  What an awesome exhibit!

Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park (east Tennessee)
We had just finished up a big unit on the frontiersmen (Daniel Boone, the Wilderness Road, etc.) and had read four or five books about Davy Crockett (plus learned the song!).  We enjoyed our brief visit to see Davy Crockett's (reconstructed) cabin.

We spent a long time looking at how the cabin was constructed because of the wonderful book we just finished called Sign of the Beaver.  The boy, Brian, was left alone to finish work on the cabin he and his Dad built. His father left to fetch his mother and sister, but then didn't return. Luckily Brian got to know an Indian grandfather and his grandson who taught him how to survive.  I highly, highly recommend that book!

Parthenon, reconstruction of the ancient Greek temple (Nashville)
We all loved visiting the Parthenon in Nashville, which is based on the one from ancient Athens.  We talked about our studies of ancient Greece (back about two years ago now) and the kids said they're keen to study it again! Oh and that's my sis with the long braid and my niece in the striped shirt.  My nieces and nephew have the exact same coloring as my kids -- and they sure are wonderful with their younger cousins!


  1. I've never heard of the Microbe exhibit, but it sounds very interesting. I found SOTW at the same place and feel the same way about it. The kids love it too and absorb so much just by listening. We visited Davy Crockett and the Parthenon - fun memories!

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I might not have been entirely clear-the microbe exhibit was a traveling exhibit at the Gray's Fossil Museum. I'm not sure how long it'll be there. The fossil exhibits were all free while the microbe exhibit cost some (I can't remember how much, but it was really reasonable --especially for how much the kids got out of it!)