Exploring Literature, Art & History through Nature Trails Hiking is an engaging way to explore seasonal patterns with family and friends. It requires very little gear, just walking shoes, a water bottle, and a map! You can also bring a trekking pole to keep your footing steady. Art activities such as sketching, painting, and journaling encourage hikers to thoughtfully observe the macro and micro patterns found in their surroundings. Like Henry David… Read More
Guide Hikes Connect to Nature In The Maine Woods (1864), Henry David Thoreau writes: Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we? Before asking the questions “Who are we? Where are we?” Thoreau already… Read More
Self-Guided Hikes in Western Massachusetts The following is a list of places to discover in your community with friends, family, or on your own. Before exploring, become aware of the literary, artistic, and historic connections that some of these places offer. Easy Hikes in Western MA: Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke Field Farm, Williamstown Field Farm features a garden with 13 modern sculptures, including works by artists Henry Ferber and… Read More
Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.
Funded in part by Mass Humanities, Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a NEW bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.
By emphasizing place-based exploration through humanities inquiry, these cultural itineraries connect residents of all ages to their place, helping to shape a more comprehensive understanding of our cultural identity, heritage, and history. This contributes to establishing meaningful relationships between young people and elders, and more active citizens.
With these FREE downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history and a strengthened sense of place. Click through to download a free 38-page PDF!