By Melissa Celii

Ah is there anything better than a young mind, so thirsty for knowledge and easily malleable to the persuasion of their superiors? And what better to fill those naive young minds with then historic preservation. That’s right, it’s time for next generation indoctrination!

As I child, I know how much I loved going to museums and exploring old houses and structures, longing to learn all of their secrets and inner workings. As an adult, I can not wait until I have kids of my own and can teach them about all the wonders that the built environment has to offer and the complete joy they can experience uncovering the past (though if psychology has taught me anything, my kids will become suburbanites that love modern art…they will quickly be shunned and written out of my will 🙂 ). Walking around downtown, I can’t help but think how fun it will be to have architectural scavenger hunts…i.e. how many Doric columns can we find? (If there were any doubts about my complete dorkitude, I think the last sentence will squash them.)

Apparently however, I am not the only one. I’ve come across a couple great websites that are great (and fun) tools for teaching historic preservation and appreciation for the built environment and history in general. St. Louis Historic Preservation has a great site on teaching different kinds of building materials and even features a fun quiz. (I am ashamed to say that I did pretty horribly…clearly my current realm of grants and affordable housing has weakened my mind!) The History Channel, as part of its Save our History campaign, has some great lesson plans too (for those of you who prefer a more structured brain washing). You have to register to access the plans; I just said I was a home-schooler. I’m sure there are plenty of other great sites out there, so if you come across any please share. In the mean time, if you happen to come across a child be sure to tell them that all the cool kids know what rusticated limestone means and that the real reason it rains is because God is crying because somewhere an old barn just fell down.

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