As a University of Virginia alum and former research intern at Monticello, I have a soft spot for Thomas Jefferson. All right, that’s probably an understatement. Most of us who went to “The University” pretty much revere the man, who founded the school. Creating the University and its academical village was one of Jefferson’s greatest accomplishments. Here’s what he had engraved on his grave marker:
“Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia.” (You’ll notice that he omitted his two-term presidency as one of his key accomplishments.)
At his heart, Jefferson was a scholar, a lifelong learner. He was a Renaissance man who was passionate about farming, architecture, applied science and math. His personal library formed the nucleus of the Library of Congress’s collection. And he designed his university so that professors lived alongside students providing endless opportunities for interaction and discussion outside of the classroom.
We celebrate Jefferson’s birthday on April 13th. In honor of what would be his 269th birthday, here are a few resources for children.
- A Day in the Life of Thomas Jefferson from Monticello.org
- Help TJ explore the modern world through the Travelin’ TJ Project (much like Flat Stanley)
- UVa History for Kids (Yes, this will be required reading in my house.)
- Apples4theTeacher has coloring pages, activities, a timeline and more about Thomas Jefferson.