The African American Experience Focus Tour
Colonial Inquiry Focus Tour
What jobs and skills did African Americans have in the 1700s and 1800s? How did enslaved people live and work in New York in the 1700s? Find answers to these and other questions in this tour through the Historical Museum, farmhouses and more.
By Lantern Light (Supported by ConEdison)
GRADES 2-8 AND 5-12
What was life like in rural New York in the 18th century? What luxuries could the average family experience? What were the working conditions of the colonial era? What constituted privilege? Explore three colonial farmhouses to answer these questions about early American life through the understanding of documents from the colonial period.
Cooking Up the Past
Students experience historic lighting devices, from grease lamps, to kerosene, to electric light, and discuss how lighting technology affected daily life. Students hand-make their own take home, pierced paper lanterns using patterns they design, or templates reflecting traditional motifs used to create punched-tin lanterns from the 1800s. Each take-home lantern is illuminated by an LED tea light.
Students experience the fun and the work of preparing food the old-fashioned way in the 1820s kitchen addition to the 1740 Guyon-Lake-Tysen House.
Wool to Weave
Students have the hands-on opportunity to investigate how historians use primary source documents, objects and architecture as clues to life in the past.
Lighting the Way
This workshop focuses on pre-industrial textile production as students experience for themselves the stages of making sheep's wool into woolen thread.
Charlie Needs a New Cloak
Our most popular workshop helps students learn how people lit their homes and businesses before electricity. Each student makes his or her own candle to take home and sees demonstrations of a variety of early lighting devices. A visit to two historic buildings illuminates the use of lighting in the context of daily life.
Activities and demonstrations allow students to participate step by step in the discovery of how a sheep's haircut is turned into a warm and beautiful garment. At the conclusion of the workshop the children take home their own miniature version of Charlie's new cloak.