Part scavenger hunt, part Seattle history lesson, all fun!
Students from Three Dragons Academy, a part-time arts academy in the University District, spent the month of April traveling through time to create a project called the Emerald City History Hunt, the culmination of their history and art studies for the term.
The project is both an exploration of Seattle’s civic history and a citywide tour of public art, aimed at getting more kids and families out and about to learn about the history of our beautiful city.
Students learned about everything from the more than 8,000 years of civilizations that have populated the Puget Sound area (before white settlers started arriving around 150 years ago), to local music acts like Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix, and how to sing the “Acres of Clams” folk song, a Seattle tradition, and the Seattle band Presidents of the United States of America's rock song, “Volcano."
Now they're sharing what they learned — and it would make a great activity for your family.
Designed as a full-day or multiday family field trip, the History Hunt is free and runs through mid-June, using art, architecture, parks and people to teach kids (and parents!) about what made Seattle the city it is today.
To participate in the History Hunt, go to the school's website.
The directions are quite clear: Read Clue #1 and head to the location/area hinted at. Once you’ve arrived, use the clues to find the student-designed poster. While you’re there, look at the student art, read the student captions, and learn something new about that part of the city. Look around for some of the art or architecture showcased by the student art on the poster. At the bottom of the poster, you’ll find the clue for your next location. There are eight clues, and eight locations, altogether.
If you’re struggling, there is a Cheat Sheet with all the info you could possibly need: exact locations of clues and posters, as well as where to park, find a bathroom, and more. Parents also could check out the Cheat Sheet ahead of time to help give the kids hints and plan their route — the Hunt traverses the whole city, so planning to do it over several days or weekends might be the way to go.
A final tip: Don’t forget to bring a beach towel and a toy boat, as well as cash for parking and snacks. Most importantly, have fun exploring our city and its history with your family.
Here's an example of the posters the Three Dragons Academy kids designed and have placed around town: