The Vermont History Museum in Montpelier and its award-winning permanent exhibit, Freedom and Unity, is a great place for students to discover over 400 years of Vermont history.
Students can explore an Abenaki wigwam, send a telegraph message, and immerse themselves in a World War-II era living room. Special exhibits in the National Life Gallery, Calder Gallery and Local History Gallery tell more Vermont stories. See current exhibits here.
Student groups are scheduled for self-guided tours of the museum exhibits. Staff will supply focusing questions, along with clipboards and pencils, to help guide students' exploration of the museum. Recommended time is 45 minutes. Self-guided visits are appropriate for all grades. Admission fees are waived for school groups and homeschool groups who schedule in advance.
Hands-On History Programs
Educators can select a Hands-On History Program to enhance a school trip to the museum. The Hands-On History Programs use primary sources and artifacts to focus on Vermont history stories. The program fee is $3.00 per student, no charge for teachers or chaperones. Recommended time is 45 minutes per class. Programs are appropriate for students in grades 3 and up.
- You Be the Historian: Investigating an 1880s Vermont Farm Family - students act as researchers, curators, and archaeologists to discover details about the Wheeler family who lived in Calais in the 1880s.
- Immigrants in Vermont: Telling a Story with Primary Sources - students investigate census records, store ledger books, and Sanborn insurance maps to learn about immigrants in Vermont in the early 1900s, with a specific focus on Barre and the granite industry.
- “Send me a box”: Letters from Vermont Civil War Soldiers - students read and analyze letters from Civil War soldiers, specifically focusing on items soldiers have requested or received from home.
- Mapping Vermont History - students investigate a variety of Vermont maps from different time periods to identify the dates of mystery maps and to understand how Vermont has changed over time.
Scheduling a Field Trip
Many student groups combine their visit to the Vermont History Museum with a tour of the nearby Vermont State House or Vermont Supreme Court. To schedule a visit or program in conjunction with a visit to these sites, contact Angelica Caterino, State House Tours Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 828-1411.
For questions about Hands-On History Programs or to schedule a visit to the museum only, contact Victoria Hughes, Museum and Education Manager, at email@example.com or (802) 828-1413.
Visit the History Center
School groups and homeschool groups are welcome to visit the special exhibits at the Vermont History Center in Barre. Self-guided visits are available free of charge, advance notice appreciated.
An introduction to primary sources available at the Leahy Library may also be included with a visit to the Vermont History Center. Advanced scheduling required.