2nd Graders Bring History to Life
Do you know how Ozark got its name? What about who designed the Ozark flag or what the colors in it represent? Do you know who the Baldknobbers are or where the monument is located?
These are all the types of things Ozark second graders learn each year in the spring through the local Ozark History Unit before taking a few steps back in time themselves for a field trip to Ozark’s downtown and various historical sites.
“We talk about how Ozark was started, where it got its name, Garrison Spring, the Finley River, the mill, Smallin Cave, the Baldknobbers, the courthouse and how life has changed over time,” North Elementary teacher Tracy Archambeau said. “We enjoy every aspect of the field trip because it brings to life our students' learning. The students seem to be most intrigued with the Baldknobber monument because they struggle to understand why people would start out doing such good then turn bad so fast.”
If you’re not sure about the history behind the Baldknobbers, a simple Google search will explain the vigilante group to you — or you could ask a second grader.
“The kids love so much of this unit,” East Elementary teacher Stacy Yerby said. “They usually love hearing about all the stories of the Weaver House and they love hearing about the Baldknobbers. They get excited any time they can locate an actual place mentioned in this unit. It helps make history seem less abstract.”
South second grader James Bartok said his favorite part was learning about the Weaver House, which is located at 602 N. Third St.
"I liked the Ozark History unit because I learned about the Weaver House and the history behind the house,” he said. “I know that the Weaver House was really important in the Civil War that happened in Ozark because it was a hospital for wounded soldiers."
All four Ozark elementary schools take the second graders on similar field trips to explore the historic sites, making memories along the way. Students tour the square to talk about the courthouse, Baldknobber monument, Ozark Bank, the history of the school buildings, and how the square was the center of town because Ozark is the county seat. Some classes visit Garrison Spring or Smallin Cave.
“It is our hope that students will take pride in the community that they live in by learning its history,” West Elementary teacher Natalie Ward said. “We hope students will be active members of the community as they grow to help develop and keep the city of Ozark thriving and the history will not be lost with those who have perished before them. Learning about our past will keep our future moving in the right direction. The field trip is a great way to bring history to life and help students to make connections to actual places in the community that we have been learning about in the classroom.”