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March 5, 2013

Colonial Williamsburg Explores 18th-century Global Economy

A new electronic field trip from Colonial Williamsburg uses puppets to introduce the subject of worldwide economics to students. “The Global Economy” premieres Thursday, March 14, with Maggie an adventurous rat who finds that she has boarded a ship in the colonies and landed in England by mistake. With the help of the other rats she meets along the way, Maggie must get clues from the goods she sees and smells on the ship and make her way home to New England.

The rats hide from the humans on board, including the captain’s son, who has signed on to be the ship’s cabin boy and is eager to learn but must also deal with the harsh realities of the hard work of life at sea. As the ship makes its way across international trade routes, the rats, the boy and the students get a lesson in geography and learn about how goods produced in one part of the world are sold in another. As they travel to the American colonies via Africa and the Caribbean, they learn about trade laws as well as how the 18th-century mercantile system affected the New World.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips are meticulously researched, non-partisan programs that tell the stories of our country’s founding and span a broad range of historical subjects from colonial times to the present. These distance learning programs, written and produced by Colonial Williamsburg, are created especially for grades 4–8. Electronic field trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating public television stations and cable channels across the country.

Each electronic field trip is supported with multi-disciplinary lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for students. These Web-based resources have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and address national standards for civics education and 21st-century skills as well as state standards for social studies, technology and language arts. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, email or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year. Participating schools also have continuing access to technical support and teacher tutorials.

For more information about electronic field trips, visit call 1-800-761-8331, or email Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip series is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown