Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

March 31, 2011

Electronic Field Trip Explores “Making History Live” through Performance

Colonial Williamsburg concludes its season of electronic field trips April 7 with “Making History Live.” The program takes a behind-the-scenes look at using performance to teach history. Through music, stories and dancing, it examines how African American character portrayals and programs are created for Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area.

Students learn that performance presentation involves far more than wearing period clothing and pretending to be a historical character. From in-depth historical research through passionate performances, experienced museum interpreters share their techniques for bringing the past to life. Character portrayals give voice to the individual experiences of real people from the past and teach students to appreciate that people are the very heart of history, whether the details of their lives are well-documented or unknown.

Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures, 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. Targeted to grades 4–8, the distance learning programs span a broad range of historical subjects about people, issues and events from colonial times to the present day.

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 their students. These Web-based resources have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and meet national standards for civics education and 21st-century skills as well as state standards for social studies, technology, arts education and language arts. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, e-mail 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 the electronic field trip series, visit, call 1-800-761-8331, or e-mail Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip series is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280