Classroom Outreach

Our programs connect past and present through storytelling, interactive lessons, and primary source investigation. Programs are led by experienced school docents and are customized for students of all ages and abilities.

Our school programs and online units support the C3 Frameworks for Social Studies, Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks, Common Core Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and STEM + STEAM guidelines. We are currently working to integrate the Frameworks on American Slavery and Social Justice from Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, into our programs as well.

In-Classroom Program: $150 per period (includes mileage)
Programs run one period (45 minutes) and are designed to be presented to one classroom.

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Colonial Life

Costumed museum educators lead students in two small group activities. Students learn through examining artifacts from the 18th century to learn more about life during the colonial era. Students also learn about the use of herbs and spices in everyday life through a sensory exploration of the most common plants used for medicinal, culinary, and household purposes. Additionally, educators will explain 18th-century clothing for children in a whole-class presentation.

The American Revolution and the Battle of Ridgefield

Students learn about the causes of and events leading up to the Revolutionary War, including how they relate to Connecticut and the Battle of Ridgefield. This classroom outreach program is customized according to the teacher’s request and can be used for students in 4th through 8th grade. We recommend participating in the Interactive Virtual Learning program on the Battle of Ridgefield before this outreach to increase students’ pre-knowledge. The outreach focuses on small-group work with primary sources, including newspapers and drawings. Can be presented as a lecture.

Ridgefield Inventors

Museum educators will challenge students to think like “history detectives” as they learn about two brothers in Ridgefield and how they exemplified 19th century inventors. Students will look at patents and handle real, historic inventions that relate to these two inventors. This program was designed in partnership with local teachers to support the Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks for 3rd grade.

Examining the American Dream in Ridgefield

This outreach looks at the debates over internal improvements in Ridgefield between the long-time residents, the wealthy summer residents like Cass Gilbert, and the recent Italian immigrants living and working in town. In the years following the Great Fire of 1895, wealthy summer residents wanted the town to update public services like roads and schools to their expectations – but not all town residents thought the improvements necessary or the costs worth the work. Students will use primary sources including photographs, letters to the editor, and town documents to analyze how the debate over internal improvements is a window into the large discussion of the townspeople’s ability to achieve, or not achieve, the “American Dream.”