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Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Gazette
February 29, 2008Volume 6, Issue 7
Primary Source of the Month

Top: A pre-1930s photograph of the Tayloe House. Bottom: The Tayloe House and Office after restoration. From the collections of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Top: A pre-1930s photograph of the Tayloe House. Bottom: The Tayloe House and Office after restoration. From the collections of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.


"The Restoration of James Madison’s Montpelier"

Primary Source of the Month

Teaching Strategy

Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Resources

Teaching News

Quotation of the Month

The next
Electronic Field Trip is

Treasure Keepers EFT
Treasure Keepers
March 6, 2008

2007-2008 Teaching
Resources Catalog

2007-2008  Teaching Resources Catalog

PSCU Financial Services Logo

2007–2008 Electronic Field
Trip Scholarships

Kids Zone: History, Games & Fun
Games, activities, and resources about life in colonial America

"The Restoration of James Madison’s Montpelier," by Edward A. Chappell

The architectural restoration of Montpelier, the rural Virginia Piedmont home of James and Dolley Madison, is among the most complex and fascinating of our generation. It raises issues about preservation and presentation of historic buildings, sets a standard for the capture and synthesis of data, and offers a new glimpse of the Madisons' private lives.

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Primary Source of the Month:
Photographs of the Tayloe House

Each of the restored and reconstructed buildings in Colonial Williamsburg's 301-acre Historic Area was researched extensively. Archaeological excavations uncovered foundations and disclosed a number of other features. Early maps, plats, and deeds helped to establish boundaries and locations. Fortunately, early photographs of many of the buildings also existed to document exterior appearances and supplement the archaeological and documentary evidence.

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Teaching Strategy:
Architectural Restoration

People use buildings for a wide range of activities related to family life, work, shopping, religion, recreation, entertainment, and so on. Over time, some structures may be neglected and fall into disrepair, while others are torn down to make way for new construction. Buildings may also be preserved or restored for continued use—often for a completely different purpose. This lesson enables a teacher to help students begin viewing buildings as primary sources which, just like documents, can yield information about how people in the past lived and what they valued.

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Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Resources for Your Classroom

Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of quality instructional materials dealing with 18th-century life, including:

  • Williamsburg Before and After (book)
  • A Link Among the Days (video)
  • Forged in Wood: Building Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop (video)
  • Colonial Houses (book)

Learn More

Teaching News

HBO's John Adams Miniseries Premieres
March 16–April 27, 2008

John Adams stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney as John and Abigail Adams, and will focus on the first 50 years of a post-revolutionary nation. Based on David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, John Adams, the series is executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and directed by Emmy-winner Tom Hooper.

Scenes for HBO's six-episode miniseries John Adams were filmed February through May 2007 in Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area. One of four shooting locations, the Historic Area offered a setting painstakingly faithful to the eighteenth century.
View HBO's John Adams trailer.

Quotation of the Month

"The cultural heritage and the natural heritage are among the priceless and irreplaceable possessions, not only of each nation, but of mankind as a whole. The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized possessions constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples in the world."

—Operational Guidelines for the Implementation
of the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO, 1997

For more information about Colonial Williamsburg teaching resources, visit our Internet site at:

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