Sixty-one fifth graders from the Eliot School in Boston’s North End attended an interactive field trip – “Making History on the Common” – to learn about history from Native American times through the Colonial and Civil War eras.

The students joined more than 1,000 Boston Public School elementary students at the Common where they visited different lesson stations. At one station, children learned traditions from the Wampanoag singers and dancers. At another, reenactors of the valor of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the first regiment of African American soldiers from the North to fight in the Civil War, shared stories of the Common’s historic use as a military training ground.

To better understand how public spaces like the Common are used for civic engagement, hundreds of students marched in a mini protest while others explored topics of propaganda and patriotism, examining the Victory Gardens that were planted in the park during World War I.

This was the tenth annual Making History on the Common, hosted by the Friends of the Public Garden. Executive Director Liz Vizza spoke with enthusiasm about the event saying, “What better way to connect with history than learning by doing?”

Photos courtesy of Friends of the Public Garden.

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