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.
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.
- From Italy to Vermont: Exploring Immigration through Primary Sources - students investigate census records, photographs, maps and other historic documents 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 Leahy Library at the Vermont History Center. Appointments are required. An introduction to primary sources and assistance with research may be available.