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School Programs for 2018 – 2019


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 2018-2019 school year. Check back in fall 2018 for our updated list of programs!

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 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."
  • Build Hartford - Students examine the evolution of Hartford's built environment with a physical map activity and discussion about types of structures, building placement and changes in a community over time.
  • 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 - 12
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.

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


Grades 3 & Up


New! 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.

Grades:
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 questioning and interactive activities. During this program, students examine the building's use over two hundred years and learn some of the key stories from its past.

Grades:
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 will participate in These Walls Do Talk: Art and Architecture at the Old State House. This program will use 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.

Grades:
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


Prudence Crandall and the Black Law
Prudence Crandall

In the room where the historic Black Law of 1833 was passed, students meet Prudence Crandall, the school teacher from Canterbury, Connecticut and Andrew Judson, the lawyer and legislator who tried to stop her from teaching African-American girls in her school. Students take part in the dialogue by playing the roles of various historical characters that either supported or opposed Crandall and Judson's points of view.

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






Revolutionary Connecticut


The site of the Old State House was witness to many important events during the Revolutionary War. Students will role-play and interact with historical characters to learn about Connecticut's role in America's quest for independence and the significant contributions made by the state and its citizens during the American Revolution.

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


Connecticut in the Civil War
Connecticut in the Civil War


What is the Civil War and why did it start? Did everyone in Connecticut agree about the war? How did it impact the people living in Connecticut? Students learn as they meet a Union soldier and discover what life was like on the battlefield, help a Connecticut woman with the "homefront" effort while her husband and sons are away at war, and participate in the 1863 Connecticut election that pitted war governor William Buckingham against "Peace Democrat" Thomas Seymour.


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


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 discuss the Atlantic slave trade, discover the stories of those involved in this ground-breaking trial, and debate if justice really was served. Modified for varied age groups. Participatory re-enactment and primary source activities available.

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




 

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