"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Hands-on history

Our hands-on history boxes are programs designed to immerse students in one particular period of Virginia history. The boxes include replicas of artifacts, manuscripts, and images for students to touch and examine up close. 

We offer history box programs at the museum or in your classroom, space and staff permitting. Programs at the museum are free of charge, but are limited to groups of 30 or less and are subject to availability. The programs we bring to your classroom cost $75 per program and are only available in central Virginia.

Hands-on history boxes

Fill our our online form to request a hands-on history box program.

Pocahontas and her People

Pocahontas and her People

  • By learning about Pocahontas and the roles of men, women, and children in Powhatan communities, students will gain a better understanding of the lives of Virginia’s original inhabitants. Students will investigate animal pelts, pottery shards, stone tools, and other objects to bring the experiences of the Powhatan people to life.
  • All ages
  • 60 minutes

Voices of the Revolution

Voices of the Revolution

  • Using replica artifacts, documents, and images, students will learn about the contributions made by Virginians—male and female, white and black, rich and poor—during the fight for independence. By examining these resources, students will gain insight into the lives of the patriots and loyalists who are often overlooked in textbooks.
  • 3rd grade and up
  • 60 minutes

Westward, Ho!

Westward, Ho!

  • In the 1800s, roughly one million Virginians left our commonwealth for the great unknown of the western territories. While looking at objects that might have been found in a pioneer family’s covered wagon, students can discuss the hardships those people faced and the hopes they carried with them.
  • All ages
  • 60 minutes

The Civil War Soldier: A Common Man

The Civil War Soldier

  • Learn about our nation’s deadliest war through the eyes of a young Civil War soldier. By focusing on aspects of camp life—such as clothing, food, and letters from home—students will be able to understand better the roles of Virginians in this national conflict.
  • 4th grade and up
  • 60 minutes

Slavery in Virginia: A Journey toward Emancipation

Slavery in Virginia

  • This program explores the lives of enslaved Virginians between the arrival of the first Africans in 1619 and the creation of the Emancipation Proclamation. In addition to examining replica artifacts, students will study documents, images, and manuscripts to include the perspectives of abolitionists and free black Virginians in a discussion about one of the most challenging aspects of our nation’s history.
  • Recommended group size: 30 students
  • 4th grade and up
  • 60 minutes

History Detectives: Snapshots from the Past

  • Explore a changing Virginia during the turn of the twentieth century by investigating photographs from the era. By unveiling the historical clues hidden in these images, students will learn how new technologies, urbanism, and social changes shaped the growth of Virginia during this exciting time.
  • All ages
  • 60 minutes

 

 

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