Visit the Museum
We recommend that you visit the Museum beforehand to help you decide what you want your students to see and learn as well as get a feel for the time. Teachers visiting the Museum receive FREE admission upon presenting a current School Identification Card/Badge. Please feel free to set up an appointment to meet with our Education Team during your visit at 540-332-7850 or email us at email@example.com.
Your field trip at the Frontier Culture Museum can either be self-guided or guided.
- Guided Tours – Most field trips planners choose this format; Our Education Staff will schedule your group for certain times and activities at each exhibit.
- Self-Guided Tours – Let our staff know if you’d prefer to decide where to take your group and how much time to spend at each exhibit. This increases your flexibility, but decreases the amount of hands-on activity you can access.
After visiting, review your Program Options below, and then go to the Registration Page to set up your group’s field trip.
Field Trip Programs
The Frontier Culture Museum’s education programs are designed to include many hands-on activities. All programs are available to all ages and include age appropriate content and activities. The hands-on activities have themes of farming, cooking, tools, animals, chores, and more. If you have specific activities in mind, please ask about availability. All of our programs support Virginia Standards of Learning as well as other states’ standards.
Five Program Categories Are Available For Your Field Trip:
- Daily Life Programs
- Atlantic Migration & Westward Expansion Programs
- STEM Programs
- Specialty Programs
- Custom Programs
Daily Life Programs
The Life of an Historic Farmer
Spend a day in the lives of seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century farm families and discover the importance of livestock, field crops, and gardens to their survival and success. Students perform farm chores, learn how families and communities were organized, and find out how natural resources were used by both consumers and producers. Hands-on activities vary by exhibit and season.
Choose a combination of Old World and New World exhibits.
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Life in the Old World
Step back into the lives of farmers and families in Europe and West Africa during the 1600’s and 1700’s to discover how farmers organized their farms and lives. Students will experience a day in the life of these farmers, learning how to make money, grow crops, raise livestock, and do household chores. Hands-on activities vary by exhibit and season.
Choose up to four Old World exhibits.
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The Early American Experience
Experience a day in the life of American Indians and the first settlers of the frontier on the American Indian Hamlet and the 1740’s Settlement. Students will use traditional tools to cultivate the land and learn about survival on the frontier.
Experience life in the early 1800’s to see how farms developed from 1820’s through 1850’s. Students will see various livestock and come to understand the importance of livestock as well as crops to the farm families of the 1800’s.
Students can also experience a traditional lesson delivered by an old-time “schoolmaster” to compare to lessons in today’s schools.
Choose up to five New World exhibits.
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Atlantic Migration & Westward Expansion Programs
Settling the Colonial Frontier
Understand why people chose to leave their home countries in the Old World to move to the new frontier. Students will experience the daily lives of these people and the reasons for their immigration. Students will also examine the lifestyles and choices of immigrants in the New World by experiencing the new lives these immigrants faced upon arrival in Early America.
Choose two Old World Exhibits and two of the following: 1740’s, 1820’s, or 1850’s farms.
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Migration to the American Colonies
Learn the conditions and factors that caused people from the Old World to migrate to Great Britain’s North American colonies. Students learn about life in the past and explore the challenges and opportunities that confronted the people who decided to settle America’s colonial frontier.
Choose up to four Old World exhibits.
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Investigate why Americans in the late 18th Century and early to mid-19th Century were looking to move into the United States’ newly acquired Western territories. This program will examine economic and geographic factors that influenced settlers to uproot their families and move west.
Choose up to five New World exhibits.
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Enrichment Options for the above Programs
Holidays in History
Learn how Christmas was celebrated in the Old World and Early America and how the celebration has changed over time. Students wassail in England, Knock in Germany, and Belsnickle in America. This program is offered as an enrichment option only in the month of December on the English, German, 1820’s American, and 1850’s American exhibits.
Economics and Personal Finance
Managing money in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries was much different than today. Learn how farmers in the Old World bought, sold, and traded to get the goods and services they needed. Investigate why the children of those farmers decided to leave the old world for economic gains. Explore early forms of currency in America as well as continued buying, trading, and selling. Choose any combination of exhibits at the Museum.
This program supports Civics & Economics and Economics & Personal Finance Standards of Learning
One Room Schoolhouse
Do you want your students to truly appreciate how good they have it in your classroom? A session at the Museum’s Early American Schoolhouse is just what they need. This add-on enrichment option features a brief history of education in early America and invites students to compare life at their school to that of the early nineteenth century.
This add-on includes basic lessons from early American textbooks led by the “schoolmaster.” This enrichment option is located in our American Schoolhouse.
Soundtrack to the Settling of America
Explore early America’s musical heritage through live performance with the Museum’s own musicians. Students and teachers listen and learn as our musicians reveal the wide-ranging cultural influences that blended together to form the music of early America. Students learn the songs and dances of our ancestors and become part of the performance.
STEM Related Programs
*These programs support Science standards
Your students can get a “meaningful watershed educational experience” in one of the Museum’s streams while they learn about its health using the “Save Our Streams” protocol. This program can be conducted by Museum staff or by you using a stream study kit provided by the Museum. This program takes place at the ponds near the English farm and the creek that runs through our Irish forge and farm.
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Plants and Animals
Discover the plants and animals living at the Museum. Students are guided through the different farms to meet and greet chickens, goats, cows, pigs, and sheep. Students are also introduced to the various crops grown on our farms. Students learn the many uses of plants and animals in the past and in the present. This program features plenty of hands-on activities! This program or its components can be incorporated into other programs.
This program’s location changes seasonally due to animal and crop placement.
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The Museum is home to many diverse habitats and ecosystems, including aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Investigate how earth’s resources were used in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries by farms and towns. Students explore resource management, conservation methods, habitats, and ecosystems.
This program’s location varies seasonally.
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These programs support science standards.
Empire of Mali Program
Have your students see what life would have been like in the Mali Empire using our one-of-a-kind West African exhibit. This program offers students the opportunity to hear the storytellings of Mali’s griots, trade in an open-air market, listen to traditional West African Music, and take part in an interactive geography lesson. This program takes place exclusively on the West African exhibit.
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Physical Education Program
People in the past were far more active than most American today. This program engages students in historic outdoor games and work activities at various exhibits. This program supports Physical Education Standards. Choose a combination of Old World and New World Exhibits.
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Columbian Exchange Program
Discover the transfer of plants, animals, culture, people, disease, technology, ideas, and more that took place after the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus. This program takes place on the West African exhibit, Eastern Woodland Indian exhibit, 1850’s American exhibit, and your choice of one of the following: English, Irish, or German exhibit.
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Build Your Own
We encourage you to design a program based on your student’s specific needs. Choose the exhibits and themes you want your student to learn about. Each chosen exhibit requires a minimum of 20 minutes. Choose from the following exhibits and themes:
- 1700’s West African Farm
- 1600’s English Farm
- 1700’s Irish Farm
- 1700’s German Farm
- 1700’s Eastern Woodland Indian Exhibit
- 1740’s American Farm
- 1820’s American Farm
- Early American Schoolhouse
- 1850’s American Farm
- Daily Life
- Immigration (Old World)
- Settlement and Westward Expansion (New World)
- Plants and Animals
- Natural Resources
- Physical Education
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our Education Team at 540-332-7850 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For ongoing information and resource suggestions specifically for educators, please visit our Education at the Frontier Culture Museum Facebook page