It was a beautiful morning in Tulsa a few days ago as we headed to the Woody Guthrie Center downtown. The center opened in 2013, but this was our first visit and it was a blast! I’ll be honest and tell you besides hearing my grandparents play his records when I was little, and his obvious calling card “This Land is our Land”, I really didn’t know too much about Woody Guthrie. The center certainly took care of that.
The story of who Woody was and his contributions to the world are presented in a sensory interactive way that brings him to life during your visit. There was very little reading required to enjoy this museum, so even the littlest ones were fully engaged. The first thing you come to is a theatre playing a movie about Woody’s life. I really didn’t expect to be so touched by this film, but the way they emphasized how “American” his style of traveling and taking in different influences from the people around him, got me. Maybe it reminded me of another Okie I know, just a little!
The Beatles exhibit now on display was an added bonus of musical fun. There was some major arguing over whose turn it was to do the “lesson with Ringo” on the drums. That was such a hit. Penny liked listening to the audio of them from one of their first press conferences. She said they sounded a little bit like One Direction.geez.
After leaving the museum, we strolled over to STG Pizza and Gelateria for lunch and a treat!
One more thing, the Woody Guthrie Center has a great selection of lesson plans of their site to supplement your visit. I used This Land is your Land for grade 3 before we went to spark some discussion, and plan to use the Dust Bowl lesson later this week.