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School Programs for 2019-2020

School programs at Connecticut's Old State House reawaken citizen engagement and awareness by providing an authentic, educational and inspiring experience for students in all grade levels. The Old State House offers interactive and participatory school programs that focus on the history of the building, the role Connecticut played during the 18th and 19th centuries, civic participation and how government works.

Please click here to see our School Program Guide.

These programs, and those listed below, are our current programs for the 2019-2020 school year.

While group sizes are our recommendations, we try our best to accommodate everyone! Please contact us if you need special arrangements.

Grades K & Up

History is All Around Us
History is All Around

Visit this multi-sensory, multi-media exhibit that follows over 400 years of Hartford’s history. Highlights include a 1912 Fire Engine and Mark Twain’s bicycle! Design your own experience:
  • Search & Discover – Working in teams, students explore the exhibition using a fun and educational scavenger hunt.
  • Self-Guided – Students explore the exhibition at their own pace.
Grades: K - 12
Time: 45-60 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 50  students

My Community and Me

What is a community? What role do we play in our communities? Students learn about their local, state, national and global communities and what makes each unique. They will discuss what makes a community, how communities are formed and work together, and illustrate how they fit into each community.

Grades: K - 2
Time: 90 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 25  students

Grades 2 & Up

The Legend of the Charter Oak

What is the Charter Oak and why is it an important part of Connecticut history? Students will learn about the story by re-enacting the legendary event that took place in Hartford in 1687. They will also explore the History Is All Around Us exhibit to find items made from the wood of the great oak tree.

2 - 5
Time: 90 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 50 students

Grades 3 & Up

Connecticut's 3 Branches of Government and How They Work

Fulfill your civics requirement in the historic rooms of Connecticut’s Old State House as students engage in an interactive voter registration, election, legislative session and court trial to learn about the three branches of state government! This new version of our signature Connecticut’s 3 Branches program focuses on the historic Dog Law of 1798 and legislation concerning pets today.

3 - 12
Time: 90 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 70 students

Discover the Old State House

Students explore Connecticut’s Old State House through an interactive, question-based tour. During this program, students examine the building’s use throughout its two hundred year history and learn some of the key stories from its past.

3 - 12
Time: 45-60 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 60 students

The Place Where You Live: Multi-Site Visit with The Wadsworth
3 Branches of Government
Students embrace the messages found in objects and architecture illustrating local and state history as they discover their place within this cultural narrative. Visits include hour-long tours at both the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Old State House. At the Old State House, students participate in These Walls Do Talk: Art and Architecture at the Old State House. This program uses visual clues which illustrate the role history played in the art and architecture of the building, the site’s significance as the birthplace of democracy and its connection to ancient Greece and Rome. At The Wadsworth, teachers may select either Connecticut People & Places or American Art. .

3 - 12
Time: 2.5 hours
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 120 students

*Fees charged separately: $3 for each student at the Old State House. $4 for each student / chaperone at The Wadsworth.

*Time includes walk between the Old State House and The Wadsworth.

Grades 4 & Up

Revolutionary Connecticut

The site of Connecticut’s Old State House witnessed many important events during the Revolutionary War, including the first meeting of General George Washington and French General Comte de Rochambeau. Students will discuss what happened during this significant meeting, the impact of first impressions, and the qualities of a leader. Through activity and conversation they will learn about Connecticut’s role in America’s quest for independence and the significant contributions made by the state and its citizens during the Revolution.

Grades: 4 - 12
Time: 90 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 60 students

Grades 5 & Up
Amistad Story
Freedom Once Taken: The Amistad Story

Perhaps the most famous court case ever heard at Connecticut’s Old State House was the case of La Amistad. Students make a personal connection with the story as they explore the events of the trial from Hartford to New Haven to the U.S. Supreme Court, and learn about the people involved in the case in the fall of 1839. Students discover the stories of those involved in this ground-breaking trial in the room where the proceedings began. Modified for varied age groups. Participatory re-enactment and primary source activities available.

5 - 12
Time: 90 minutes
Group size: Min. 10 students Max. 60 students


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