"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Next event
Featured Promotion

Discover Charles Peale Polk's painting of George Washington.

George Washington

Student Workshops

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

Workshops are free for students, teachers, and chaperons, but reservations are required.

Fill out our online form to request a student workshop.

K-1st Grade:

Program Title: Marvelous Maps
Time: 30–45 minutes
Maximum group size: 30
Description: Students will investigate a variety of maps to learn about basic map symbols, cardinal directions, and land and water features. Participants will compare globes to flat maps, historic maps to modern ones, and local maps to national maps.
SOL correlations: K.3, K.4, K.5, 1.4, 1.4a-d, 1.5, 1.6

Program Title: Famous Faces
Time: 45 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 60
Description: Using replica artifacts and digital images, students will learn about the lives and accomplishments of famous historical individuals, including Pocahontas, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will also discuss the difference between legends and recorded historical events and how life in the past was different from the present.
SOL correlations: K.1a, K.2, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Program Title: Stories at the Museum
Time: 45 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 30
Description: Choose from among dozens of titles in the VHS’s children’s book collection to explore a wide variety of topics related to Virginia and American history. Students will read a picture book and participate in a craft activity related to the text.
SOL correlations: Varies based on book selection.

2nd Grade:

Program Title: Powhatan’s People
Time: 60 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 60
Description: Using replica artifacts and images, students will jump 400 years into the past to learn about the lives of the Powhatan people. Students will also examine the ways natural, human, and capital resources were used by the Powhatan and compare their daily lives to those of the Pueblo and Lakota people.
SOL correlations: 2.2, 2.4c-d, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9

3rd Grade:

Program Title: Christopher Newport’s Jamestown
Time: 60 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 60
Description: Using replica artifacts, images, and maps, students will learn about the explorer Christopher Newport and his contributions to the establishment and settlement of Jamestown. Students will also examine the daily lives of the Jamestown’s inhabitants and how they coped with the lack of resources.
SOL correlations: 3.3a-b, 3.5d, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9

4th -5th Grade:

Program Title: Building Blocks of History: Primary Sources
Time: 30 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 30
Description: Using documents from the VHS collection, students will investigate the events of the past and the lives of Virginia’s inhabitants. Pick a document type (Brilliant Broadsides, Diary Detectives, or Lively Letters) to learn more about that particular method of communication and its importance to historians today.
SOL correlations: VS.1a-f

Program Title: Hands-On History Boxes
Time: 60 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 60
Description: Using replica artifacts, images, and reproductions of VHS manuscripts, students will explore a particular era in Virginia history in depth. Choose from among a topic below:
SOL correlations:  Pocahontas and the Powhatan People (VS.2, VS.3), Voices of the Revolution (VS.4, VS.5, VS.6), Slavery in Virginia (VS.3, VS.4, VS.5, VS.7), Westward Movement (VS.6), Civil War Soldier (VS.7, VS.8), Jim Crow to Civil Rights (VS.8, VS.9, VS.10)


Program Title: PSI: Primary Source Investigations
Time: 30–60 minutes
Maximum Group Size: 30
Description: Using manuscripts, images, and replica artifacts, students will dive deep into a particular topic from Virginia’s past. Choose from among the subject areas below to learn more about the people and events from that era.
SOL correlations:
Cactus Hill and Beyond: Archaeology in Virginia (WHI.2a-d, USI.3a-c), The Pursuit of Liberty: on the Road to Revolution (CE.2a-d, CE.3b, VUS4a-d, VUS.5a-e, USI.6a-d, USI.7a-c), John Robertson Maben and the Search for California Gold (VUS.6b, VUS.6e, USI.8a-c), Slavery in Virginia: 1620–1865 (VUS.3, VUS.6e, VUS.7a, USI.9b, USI.9d), Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and the Emancipation Proclamation (VUS.3, VUS.6e, VUS.7a-e), Saving Private Scott (VUS.7a-f, USI.9a-f), An American Turning Point: The Civil War (VUS.7a-f, USII.3a-c), Rebuilding America: Reconstruction (VUS.8, VUS.7; USII.4a-c; USII.5a-c), A New Old Dominion: Virginia in the Twentieth Century (VUS.9, VUS.10, VUS.11, VUS.12, VUS.13, VUS.14, VUS.15), From Civil War to Civil Rights: 1865–1980 (VUS.6e, VUS.7c-f, VUS.8c, VUS.11c, VUS.14a-b), The Making of America: Expansion, Reform, and the Westward Movement (VUS.6b-e, USI.8a-c), Through the Virginian Lens: Teaching with 20th-Century Photographs (VUS.9, VUS.10, VUS.11, VUS.12, VUS.13, VUS.14, VUS.15)

Customized Programs:

Want to learn about a topic you don’t see listed above? Have an idea for a great program you’d like our help with? Interested in adding a dash of science or math to your historical investigation? No problem. The education staff at the VHS is happy to design a customized program based on your students’ specific needs. Prices and availability may vary on a case-by-case basis.


You might also be interested in