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Massachusetts

Codman Estate, Lincoln

Coffin House, Newbury

Otis House, Boston

Pierce House, Dorchester

Programs to Go, Metro-Boston

Quincy House, Quincy

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury

 

Codman Estate, Lincoln

The Case of the Empty House

Observation, deduction, and reasoning are the building blocks of critical thinking. Students, acting as detectives, learn these skills and use them first to examine four types of evidence -- documents, photographs, objects, and the site itself - and then combine evidence to draw conclusions.

Coffin House, Newbury

Hearthstones and Gravestones

By participating in hands-on activities, students experience the work, schooling, and play of children long ago. On a visit to Newbury's first burying ground, students examine decorative imagery of gravestones from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

Otis House, Boston

Deck the Walls

Go on a scavenger hunt as you check out fancy wallpaper in the Otis House from long ago! Become a paper-stainer and design your own wallpaper to take home.

Hats Off

How did different people dress in the year 1800? Through paintings and dress-up clothes, learn about everyone from fashionable ladies dressed for parties to chimney sweeps dressed for a messy day on the job.

Life in 1800

Learn what life was like for the Otises and their neighbors in the year 1800. Become an apprentice in the plaster workshop and make a classical ornament like the ones on the walls of the Otis House.

Portraits!

Portraits tell us so much more than just what people looked like. Learn how to read the clues in old portraits, and make a self-portrait that tells the world all about you.

Classic Times: Pompeii through Today

Classic Times introduces students to the classical motifs used in the architecture of ancient Rome, post-revolutionary Boston, and our own era.

Student Tour

Take your students on a trip back to the year 1800! This short program is designed to fit into a day-long class trip to Boston. Museum educators lead students on a dynamic, interactive tour of the home of the Otises, a young family living in Boston after the American Revolution. Students explore life on Beacon Hill in the Federal Era, when the neighborhood around Massachusetts' new State House was the fashionable place to live, and see how both wealthy and working class people lived in early 1800s Boston.

Unknown Hands: Everyday Life of Bostonians in 1800

What was it like to live in Boston after the American Revolution? To learn about work, family, household, and neighborhood life as it was 200 years ago, students assume the roles of real working-class and wealthy Bostonians in 1800. Led by house servants, students visit the home of the Otis family, work as apprentices in a plaster workshop, and explore their 1800s neighborhood, historic Beacon Hill. The visit ends with a lively wrap-up game that reinforces the concepts learned throughout the day.

Pierce House, Dorchester

Pre-School Programs: History for Early Learners

These fun-filled programs combine themed story books and hands-on craft activities to introduce children aged 3-6 to New England's history.

Hidden Treasures

Learn about special boxes from the past and the treasures they contain, including children's toys and important family heirlooms. Decorate a box that will hold a special object of your own.

Colonial Trades: Making Community Work

Students learn what life was like on the Pierce Farm during the years leading up to the Revolution. A pre-visit activity based on Colonel Samuel Pierce's account book allows students to take on the roles of real Dorchester residents, including farmers, weavers and blacksmiths.

Family Ties at Pierce House

Family Ties provides students with the tools to tell their stories. Students learn how to conduct oral history interviews, examine historical documents, objects, and photographs, and design a family crest.

Hands-on History: Herbs

Learn how the Pierce House and its surroundings have changed over time from a 20-acre rural farm to a busy urban neighborhood. Explore the way herbs were used by colonial families like the Pierces to make their food taste better, for medicinal purposes and for household uses. Decorate a pot, plant an herb seed and make an herbal sachet to take home.

Hands-on History: Scrapbooks

After looking at reproductions of Antoinette Louise Pierce's scrapbooks, students will create their own scrapbook pages to take home and fill with their favorite things like photographs, ticket stubs, and magazine articles, to reflect what life is like for them in the twenty-first century.

Hands-on History: Weaving

Learn how clothing and other textiles were produced in colonial times. Examine and card raw wool and learn how it is spun into yarn. Then get creative as you weave your own project on a loom. Projects vary based on the age of students and the length of the session. May be offered as a one-time program or multi-session course in which students build skills from week to week.

A Revolution in Dorchester

This program provides students with a window into the Revolutionary War era through the journal of Colonel Samuel Pierce. Students learn to analyze primary source documents to learn more about the past, examine reproduction artifacts and clothing, and work together to construct a Revolutionary War time line.

Fun and Games

Explore the pastimes of children from the Pilgrim era to the first years of the New Republic. Students play games, solve riddles, and find out how changing attitudes towards childhood affected children's toys and pastimes.

Programs to Go, Metro-Boston

Archives and Crafts

Historic New England's archive is filled with clues about grown-ups and kids who have lived in our area over the last several hundred years. This program gives you a chance to examine copies of old letters, journals, scrapbooks, and advertisements to learn more about their lives.

Colonial Sampler

 Learn what life in colonial times was like for boys and girls in New England. A series of hands-on activities teach about the work, play, and education of the Pierce children in eighteenth century Dorchester.

Creative Spaces

What does your room say about you? Learn about special spaces at Historic New England houses, view a scrapbook house owned by a nineteenth-century girl, and design your own room using collage materials.

Historic Toys

What kind of toys did children play with long ago? How did they have fun without computer chips, batteries, and electricity? In this program, students explore interactive nineteenth-century toys, and make their own to take home.

Portraits!

Portraits tell us so much more than just what people looked like. Learn how to read the clues in old portraits, and make a self-portrait that tells the world all about you.

Pre-School Programs: History for Early Learners

These fun-filled programs combine themed storybooks and hands-on craft activities to introduce children aged 3-6 to New England's history.

Sewing and Embroidery

This multi-week program teaches students basic sewing and embroidery, two crafts with long histories in New England and throughout the world.

Colonial Crafts

This eight-week program highlights the tools and techniques of tinsmiths, shoemakers, chandlers, silhouette artists, weavers, theorem painters and basket makers. Students will study examples of the crafts, and try their hand at creating them. All materials are provided.

Songs of the Fisherman

Discover what a sea shanty is, and why they were sung. Sing various shanties, make a musical instrument, and dance a popular sailor's dance.

School Days

Learn about the establishment of schools in Massachusetts, where dunce caps are from, and how a hornbook is made. Do a math lesson using a Numeracy Board, make a journal, and write with a quill and ink.

Yesterday's Child

This series of eight, one-hour workshops explores childhood through the centuries, while teaching history along the way. Children participate in hands-on activities, and create crafts that they can take home.

Family Ties at Quincy House

Everyone has a history worth recording. Family Ties provides students with the tools to tell their stories. Students learn how to conduct oral history interviews, examine historical documents, objects, and photographs, and design a personal monogram.

Family Ties at Pierce House

Family Ties provides students with the tools to tell their stories. Students learn how to conduct oral history interviews, examine historical documents, objects, and photographs, and design a family crest.

Hidden Treasures

Learn about special boxes from the past and the treasures they contain, including children's toys and important family heirlooms. Decorate a box that will hold a special object of your own.

Colonial Trades: Making Community Work

Students learn what life was like on the Pierce Farm during the years leading up to the Revolution. A pre-visit activity based on Colonel Samuel Pierce's account book allows students to take on the roles of real Dorchester residents, including farmers, weavers and blacksmiths.

Hands-on History: Herbs

Learn how the Pierce House and its surroundings have changed over time from a 20-acre rural farm to a busy urban neighborhood. Explore the way herbs were used by colonial families like the Pierces to make their food taste better, for medicinal purposes and for household uses. Decorate a pot, plant an herb seed and make an herbal sachet to take home.

Hands-on History: Scrapbooks

After looking at reproductions of Antoinette Louise Pierce's scrapbooks, students will create their own scrapbook pages to take home and fill with their favorite things like photographs, ticket stubs, and magazine articles, to reflect what life is like for them in the twenty-first century.

Hands-on History: Weaving

Learn how clothing and other textiles were produced in colonial times. Examine and card raw wool and learn how it is spun into yarn. Then get creative as you weave your own project on a loom. Projects vary based on the age of students and the length of the session. May be offered as a one-time program or multi-session course in which students build skills from week to week.

A Revolution in Dorchester

This program provides students with a window into the Revolutionary War era through the journal of Colonel Samuel Pierce. Students learn to analyze primary source documents to learn more about the past, examine reproduction artifacts and clothing, and work together to construct a Revolutionary War time line.

Dirt Detectives

Students become archaeologists as they excavate a mock pit with actual tools of the trade, process reproduction artifacts and analyze original objects to see what they can tell about the people who used them in the past.

Fun and Games

Explore the pastimes of children from the Pilgrim era to the first years of the New Republic. Students play games, solve riddles, and find out how changing attitudes towards childhood affected children's toys and pastimes.

Sheep to Shawl

Using the wool from our flock of sheep, students learn each step in the process of creating cloth. While they pick, clean, card, and spin wool by hand, they learn how technology provides improved tools to make each step faster and more efficient. They then try their hand at weaving on 2 and 4-frame table looms.

Shipboard Life

All hands on deck for an adventure in maritime history! Explore what sailors and passengers ate on their voyage, how they passed their time, and what they traded. Determine absolute locations ( latitude and longitude) of world cities using old maps and charts, make ship's biscuit, tie knots, and try your hand at scrimshaw.

Quincy House, Quincy

Family Ties

Everyone has a history worth recording. Family Ties provides students with the tools to tell their stories. Students learn how to conduct oral history interviews, examine historical documents, objects, and photographs, and design a personal monogram.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury

Farm Friends

Each Farm Friends program includes a story time, outdoor experience (weather permitting), and a craft project which you can take home.

Little Farmers Summer Enrichment Program

This program is designed to immerse younger children in fun, farm-related activities at our museum and education center

Weaving Summer Enrichment Program

Students will work on real weaving equipment, and complete a major project during the session. One week long session is offered in 2010.

Songs of the Fisherman

Discover what a sea shanty is, and why they were sung. Sing various shanties, make a musical instrument, and dance a popular sailor's dance.

School Days

Learn about the establishment of schools in Massachusetts, where dunce caps are from, and how a hornbook is made. Do a math lesson using a Numeracy Board, make a journal, and write with a quill and ink.

Dirt Detectives

Students become archaeologists as they excavate a mock pit with actual tools of the trade and process (put together) reproduction artifacts in a field lab. Inside the museum, they explore building archaeology via trap doors. They analyze objects to learn about daily life at the farm over the last three hundred years.

In Search of a Story

Become an author of historical fiction while exploring the museum and landscape. Students gain historical research skills by studying authentic documents in order to inspire their own creative writing.

A Day at the Farm

This program teaches preschool and elementary school students about farm animals, farm work past and present, and the ecology of a farm and its inhabitants. Students take part in a tour  focusing on farm animals, the farmhouse and barn, and the work for which each farm family member was responsible.

First Settlers, Early Colonists

This program immerses students in early local history in an authentic seventeenth century setting. Museum teachers guide participants in role-playing real characters who lived and worked in the 1660s, allowing them to experience tasks that children their age had to master as members of their Little Commonwealth, such as butter churning and spinning.

Shipboard Life

All hands on deck for an adventure in maritime history! Explore what sailors and passengers ate on their voyage, how they passed their time, and what they traded. Determine absolute locations ( latitude and longitude) of world cities using old maps and charts, make ship's biscuit, tie knots, and try your hand at scrimshaw.

 

 

Curriculum Links

Sample Primary Source

 

 

Massachusetts