Fifth Grade Tours Portion of Little Egypt

by Mrs. Jane Montgomery
January 30, 2009

After studying Ancient Egypt in the fifth grade Social Studies curriculum, students were treated to a trip to Centralia to explore not only Ancient Egypt's past, but also the history of Southern Illinois known to many as "Little Egypt". The Du Quoin Community Unit School District and the Du Quoin Education Foundation made the trip possible. Students were transported by bus to Centralia, where they were divided into two groups. Each group toured the Centralia Historical Society's Museum and the Centralia Sentinel offices. The museum is filled with interesting artifacts of the past, and is hosted by volunteers. The Sentinel boasts architecture and ornamentation depicting Ancient Egypt, and is visited by people from all over the United States of America. Students also viewed the Bell Tower park. Students learned a wide variety of information about our local economy, the railroading industry, and the newspaper's operations. Each student was treated with a copy of a history of the Centralia Sentinel and a brief history of "Little Egypt". After a quick lunch break, students boarded Amtrak for Du Quoin. For many, this was their first chance to ride the rails. Upon returning to the classroom, follow up activities were done to further emphasize our great Southern Illinois heritage.