On Saturday, January 7, Monticello will host the families of second-graders in Charlottesville City Schools in celebration of the annual “My Monticello” student art exhibition. Beginning at noon in the Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center, there will be an exhibition opening complete with family activities and light refreshments.  

The art exhibition is the culmination of the second-graders’ November visits to Monticello, during which they focused on Thomas Jefferson’s interest in science, gardening, and daily life at Monticello.
“Our ‘My Monticello’ field experiences engage our students in making connections between past and present. Saturday is the parents’ turn,” notes Annie Evans, social studies coordinator for Charlottesville City Schools. “We hope to see many families there.”
The students’ activities reinforced learning across the curriculum from math to history and nutrition to art. Inspired by Jefferson’s passion for ordered knowledge, students practiced making estimations and gathering scientific recordings at activity stations set up in and around Monticello’s mountainside vegetable garden and Visitor Center classrooms.  As students moved from station to station, they noted the weather and wind direction; estimated the weight and length of snake gourds, pumpkins, squash and other vegetables from the garden; drew close-up, detailed drawings of seeds and flowering plants; and compared the taste and smell of root vegetables, edible greens, and herbs they found growing. The young scientists recorded their observations in journals, provided by Monticello.
Once back in their classrooms, students used pages from their “My Monticello Journal” to further illustrate what they learned through words and pictures. These projects chronicle each student’s onsite experience with scientific observation and connection to Jefferson’s gardens. Throughout January, these projects will be displayed in the Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center classrooms, and the student-artists welcomed back for a fully-funded visit using free family passes provided by Monticello (passes valid January 7, 8, 14, 15 & 16). The public is invited to the opening celebration at noon on Saturday, January 7. The program, now in its twelfth year, is supported by PlusTick Management, LLC.

In case of inclement weather, check monticello.org.