The Society's Education Program
For over 30 years, the Jefferson County Historical Society has cooperated with schools to bring standards-based local history into the classroom and encourage young people to explore their heritage.
Our educational philosophy is that a strong awareness of and appreciation for local history is a key component in shaping proud citizens and a strong community.
We offer a variety of educational materials and programs to local schools, home schools, and discussion groups. All programs include teacher information, suggested activities, artifacts, documents, graphics and/or slides. The materials are designed for age-specific instruction as listed below.
To reserve a program for your classroom or group, please contact:
Melissa Widrick - Curator of Education
Age of Homespun - Grades 4-6
This demonstration/participation program emphasizes daily chores of early 19th century rural life, with special attention given to the textile process. Students will card and spin wool. Includes slides and literature for pre-session use by the teacher. 4-6
Camp Life in the Civil War - Grades 4-6
Using objects that belonged to Jefferson County soldiers, the program explores the quality of soldiers' lives during the war.
Historic Architecture of Jefferson County - Grades 4-Adult
This slide presentation traces the stylistic development of both private and public architecture in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Iroquois - Grades 2-5
Explores the lifestyle of the Iroquois. Emphasis is placed on the use of the environment to obtain food, shelter, clothing, tools and other items.
Paper Mills and Paper Making - Grades 4-6
The history and significance of the paper making industry in the area is discussed. Students will make paper by hand.
School Days - Grades 3-5
Traces the development of education from the early 19th century “common” or one room school to the turn of the century. Students will examine photographs of county schools, textbooks, quill pens, slate boards, and many other objects.
The Thousand Islands - Grades 3-6
This slide presentation traces the history of the area from Native Americans and early explorers to the present. Also, the roles of logging, ship building, fishing and the tourism industry in the development of the area are discussed.
Toys and Pastimes - Grades K-3
An exhibit of toys, games, sporting equipment and photographs examining children’s pastimes in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
What If You Couldn’t Flip a Switch? - Grades K-3
An exhibit for younger children presenting a view of an earlier world, one without electricity. Includes many objects students can handle and photographs showing how the items were used.
What is a Museum? - Grades 2-6
Discusses different kinds of museums, the work that goes on behind the scenes, and how students can perfect their “looking” skills at a museum. Good as pre-museum visit materials.
There are also a selection of kits designed to be used by teachers in the classroom to supplement various units of study.
Kits may be borrowed at any time throughout the school year with advance reservations.
Education Kits available for loan...
•The Gilded Age
•The Black River
•How Cities Grow
•19th Century Woodworking
•Quilts and Quilting
•The French Influence and Settling In: Rural Life
Guided Museum Tours - 1-2 hours
Provides a docent-led tour and group discussion of museum exhibits and the topics they discuss, including temporary exhibits.
Pioneer Times - 1.5 hours
The program will introduce students to life in the early 1800s. A slide show and hands-on activities in the museum’s Pioneer kitchen and original one-room log cabin (c. 1820) will allow students to see and use equipment available to pioneer settlers. How pioneers obtained needed supplies, e.g. food, clothing, will be discussed.
Victorian Tea Party - 1.5 hours
Students will be introduced to the lifestyle, dress, etiquette and dining customs of wealthy Victorian families through slides and artifacts. Groups will also participate in a Victorian style tea party.
What is a Museum? - 1 - 1.5 hours
Introduces students to what happens “behind the scenes” in the museum. Participants will learn about the JCHS collection, including how it is stored, documented, and exhibited. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their “looking skills” through hands-on activities.