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The Milton Historical Society education programs are designed to enhance your classroom curriculum by teaching students about American history through fun and interactive learning. All programs are aligned with Delaware State Content and Framework Standards in Social Studies, Language Arts, Mathematics, Visual Art and Theater. Students have the unique opportunity to learn from a variety of primary source documents, as well as objects from our permanent collection. By seeing, touching, and doing, students learn about and experience history first hand.
All programs are FREE!
Students at all grade levels and abilities (public school, private school, faith-based school, home school, and pre-school students) and any organizations which serve the needs of school age children (Boys and Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) are welcome.
Don’t see something that suits your classroom needs? We have an innovative team of educators willing and eager to build an experience around your needs. Just ask!
For reservations, contact us at 302-684-1010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Storytime & Craft
(One hour program- offered on our site or at your school)
Suggested for age 4 up to 2nd Grade
Hear the story of the lovable bear who loses his button but gains a friend. Milton was home to a thriving button industry in the early 20th century. Children will learn what buttons were made from before plastic and complete counting, matching, and pairing activities. As a reminder of their visit, children will make a button flower to take home.
The Elves & the Shoemaker
Did you know Milton was home to 8 shoemakers in 1850? Children will hear a fable written by the Brothers Grimm and then explore the contents of an intact cobbler’s bench in the museum’s collection piece by piece. Students will become shoemakers and create their own “shoe”!
The Quiltmaker’s Gift
This touching story about the age-old craft of quilting with the inspiring message of giving is beautifully illustrated. After the story, children see a historic quilt from the collection and learn how quilts are made through the use of repeating shapes, patterns, and color. Then, everyone creates their own quilt square!
Boats! Buttons! Beans! (One hour program)
Our most popular offering. At the museum, students learn about Milton’s history as a shipbuilding center, its role in the button cutting industry, and the impact of farming and agriculture on the local community. The economic importance of trade and the importance of geography skills are also emphasized and integrated into the lesson. The visit closes with a scavenger hunt completed in teams.
Broadkill Boatbuilding 101 (One hour program)
Shipbuilding was the most important industry in 19th century Milton. Students discover the importance of the river and learn what natural resources played a part in the process. Occupations like shipwrights, sailmakers, sawyers, and millers will be explored. Students will build their own model shallop (small boat).
Be a History Detective! Exploring Primary Documents (One hour program)
4th- 8th Grade
Students will engage in a variety of inquiry activities based on primary documents. Learning will take place through data gathering, analysis, and interpretation. In small groups, students will explore documents including photographs, census figures, maps, diaries and letters, ships logs, and store ledgers and account books. Upon completion of the activity, students will have used skills in math, social studies, and language arts to acquire an image of our town, its people, businesses, and events from the past.
Milton Walking Expeditions (1 ½ – 2 hour programs)
These programs are generously funded through a grant provided by the Carl M. Freeman Foundation.
Captain Conwell’s Milton (3rd-4th grade)
Captain James Carey Conwell was a prosperous ship captain who lived in the shipbuilding village of Milton in the late 19th century. On a guided walking tour, students will visit his home, see where the ships were built, and finish at the museum by acting out his story in a play written especially for this program. This program focuses on investigating history through the use of primary documents (photographs, journal entries) and objects from the collection.
Pre & Post Visit Materials- Captain Conwell’s Milton (pdf file)
Play:The Thomas Winsmore (pdf file)
DE Standards for Conwell’s Milton
One Town: Many People (5th-6th grade)
This program explores the concepts of neighborhood and community. Using primary documents like maps and journals, the walking tour examines the lives of two local families: the Conwells and the Oneys. Students will complete a scavenger hunt in the historic Goshen Cemetery that will explore grave symbolism, incorporate math problems, and encourage students to think critically about what was important to members of this community in the 19th century. The program will finish at the museum with an analysis of the 1880 Census. Students will discuss the purposes of a census and they will graph & chart data collected.
Pre & Post Visit Materials- One Town: Many People (power point file)
DE Standards for One Town Many People
The Preservation of a Historic Town (7th-8th grade)
This program seeks to define the meaning of historic preservation and emphasizes citizenship and the role of local government. On a walking tour of Milton students will observe and identify pieces of Milton’s rich history, using primary documents as well visual evidence from the built and natural environment,. As a group, the students will become history detectives, uncovering the layers of the past and building awareness and sensitivity to historic places. Students will review the National Preservation Act of 1966 and the town ordinances regarding historic preservation. At the museum, students will participate in a mock-debate to decide the fate of a local structure.
Pre & Post Visit Materials- Preservation of a Historic Town (power point file)
Architectural Element Art Activity (pdf file)
DE Standards for History Detective
Introduction to Geocaching (One hour program on-site and outside)
Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt! Using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) device, students will find local caches that inform us about the history and natural resources of the region. This Geocaching activity offers multi-step lessons in GPS technology, geography, and map-reading as well as history and earth science. Please note: Many school systems now have GPS units that can be checked out for the day.