If you can’t come to us, our programs can come to you! These programs use reproduction objects and documents from our collection along with hands-on activities to bring history to life. Interested in bringing us into your classroom virtually? Visit our Online Learning page to find out more.
These participatory programs are designed for class-size groups. They are not suitable for assemblies or large groups, unless otherwise noted.
Length: 1 ¼ hours, except where noted (allow 15 minutes between programs)
Cost: $150 per program, plus round trip mileage from the CHS at 60¢ per mile.
MOST PROGRAMS FOR GRADES 3 AND OLDER REQUIRE STUDENT READING.
The Circus Comes to Town
Students use props, costumes, physical activities, games, and their imaginations to create their own circus, from the parade of animals and performers to the acts in the center ring. Students enjoy a circus storybook and make their own circus poster.
HIST K.1, 1.1; CCSS SL.1-2, SL.4-5, L.1, L.6
PLEASE NOTE: This program requires a large open space, like a gym or multi-purpose room.
Native Americans in Early Connecticut
This program introduces students to the life and culture of Native Americans in southern New England. Students examine reproduction artifacts made from materials such as stone, wood, bone, and animal skins and learn about Native American cultural values from a traditional story. Each student makes a “bear claw” necklace to take home.
HIST K.1, K.3-5, 1.1, 1.3-5, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6-7, GEO K.4, 1.4, 2.4; CCSS R.7, SL.1-2, SL.4, L.1, L.6
Using reproduction objects and hands-on activities, students are introduced to daily life in colonial Connecticut. They compare and contrast their own lives to those of colonial children as they learn about both work and play. Students make a reproduction “hornbook,” examine clothing, try out daily chores, and enjoy playing with reproduction colonial-era toys.
HIST 1.1, 1.4-5, 1.7-8, 2.2, 2.6-7, 2.9-10, CCSS R.1-2, R.4, R.10, SL.1-2, SL.4, L.1, L.4, L.6
History Detectives: Exploring Native American Life
In this hands-on program, students become the historians to investigate the lives of Native American people in Connecticut before European contact. They learn about various types of historical resources, discover the importance of oral tradition, and play a traditional Native American game. Students practice using close observation, descriptive writing, and presentation skills to analyze, describe, investigate, and present reproduction artifacts to their classmates.
HIST 3.2, 3.5-7, 4.1, 4.3, 5.2, 5.5-7, 5.10, ECO 3.2, 4.3, 5.2, GEO 3.4-6, 3.8, 4.3, 4.5, 4.7, 5.2-3, CCSS R.7, W.2, W.4, W.9, SL.1-4, L.1-3
The Three Branches of Government
Based on our popular museum tour of the same name, students explore Connecticut’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government to discover who makes the rules in Connecticut. To better understand the role of each branch, students elect a governor from among their classmates, debate a bill, and hold a mock trial (student reading required). Through movement, improvisation, role-playing, and active participation, students learn the purpose of rules and laws, explore the separation of powers, and discover the rights and responsibilities of individuals.
CIV 3.1-3, 3.6-7, 5.1-4; CCSS R.10, SL.1, SL.3-4, L.1, L.3, L.6
PLEASE NOTE: This program is available for groups of 26-50 students for a fee of $225 per program. For groups of over 25 students, a large, open space is required as this program will not work in a standard classroom.
Characters from Colonial Connecticut
After a short introduction, students work in teams of 4-5 to learn about a character from colonial Connecticut, such as a tinsmith, tavern keeper, Patriot soldier, enslaved person, or Woodland Indian trader. Each group explores one “identity box,” handling reproduction artifacts, practicing close observation skills, and completing a series of activities related to their character’s life.
HIST 4.1, 5.2, 5.4-6, ECO 5.2, CCSS R.1-2, R.4, R.6-7, R.10, W.2, W.4, W.9, SL.1-2, SL.4, L.1-2
On the Move: Immigration and Migration to Connecticut
This program introduces students to a variety of 20th century stories about moving to Connecticut. An introductory game of chance looks at the difficult choices and conditions faced by immigrants throughout history. Students then work in teams to examine artifacts from “immigration trunks” and uncover many different family stories about moving to Connecticut.
HIST 4.1, 8.1-3, 8.6-9, ECO 4.1-2, 8.1, GEO 4.4-8, 8.3-4; CCSS R.1-4, R.7, R.10, W.2, W.4, W.9, SL.1-2, SL.4-5, L.1-2, L.6, RH.6-8.1-4, RH.6-8.7
Connecticut and the Road to Independence
Students investigate how Connecticut citizens participated in the American Revolution, looking at issues from both the Patriot and Loyalist perspectives. Through a variety of student activities, the dramatic sequence of events from 1763-1783 that led to American independence is brought to life. Students examine reproduction artifacts and analyze a primary document to explore life in Connecticut during this time. Using quill pens, students join the cause by signing an “oath of allegiance.” Ask about our fee reductions for this program, which are made possible by the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut.
HIST 5.1-10, 8.1-9; CCSS R.1-2, R.4, R.6-7, R.9-10, SL.1-4, L.1, L.4, L.6, RH.6-8.1-2, RH.6-8.4, RH.6-8.6-8
Amistad: A Journey to Justice
Explore the Connecticut event that had a national impact on the rising tensions leading up to the Civil War. Investigate the dramatic 1839 story of 53 Africans, who were kidnapped from their homeland, enslaved, and managed to win a legal battle in the U.S. that allowed them to return home. Students will use a range of physical activities, reproduction artifacts, primary source documents, props, and illustrations to connect to the story.
HIST 5.2, 5.4-5, 5.9, 8.1-5, 8.9, ECO 5.1, 8.1, GEO 5.3, 8.4, CCSS R.7, SL.1-4, L.1, RH.6-8.1-3, RH.6-8.7-8
PLEASE NOTE: This program requires a space to project images. The CHS educator will bring a projector, unless one is already set up in the room. This program is available for groups of 26-50 students for a fee of $225 per program. For groups of over 25 students, a large, open space is required as this program will not work in a standard classroom.
Connecticut and the Civil War
Using a variety of primary sources and local history materials, students look at the Civil War through the experiences of people from Connecticut. Using letters, photographs, historic posters, and government documents, as well as reproduction clothing and equipment, students explore four areas of impact on Connecticut’s citizens: recruitment, the soldier’s experience, roles played by women, and reporting the war. This program requires a projection screen or surface.
HIST 5.2, 5.6, 8.1-4, 8.6; CCSS R.1-2, R.4, RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.4, RH.6-8.7-8
Program Length: 45 minutes–1 hour (depending on class length)
Cost: $125 per program plus round trip mileage from the CHS at 60¢ per mile.
Take a Stand
History is complicated; stand up for your position! In this program students develop higher order thinking skills by drawing conclusions after analyzing historic sources. Students create an argument using preselected primary and secondary sources (including book excerpts, manuscripts, historic photographs, and artifacts from the CHS collection). Students then debate compelling questions in U.S. History through the lens of local and state history, and use their conclusions to take a stand! Select a theme for your workshop from the topics below.
- Women’s Suffrage? Evaluate primary source documents and visual sources arguing against women’s suffrage to determine the ultimate goals of the movement. Discuss the methods used, and their effectiveness, in advancing the suffrage and anti-suffrage agendas.
- Connecticut: Land of Opportunity? Analyze photographs, census data, and other primary sources detailing daily life of diverse Connecticut residents to develop an understanding of some of the factors that brought immigrant groups to Connecticut, and the types of obstacles they faced.