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From history and geography to economics, government and civics, we can help your students connect to social studies through firsthand experiences they can’t forget. Our historic village provides settings for the stories of a full century of America’s past, and we encourage students to observe, refect, question and decide. We use a variety of techniques – from playlets and hands-on experiences to demonstrations and Q&A – to engage students in multidisciplinary learning, and our 100-year-long perspective facilitates the investigation of interdependence, continuity and change, and identifcation of patterns through time.
With works of art spanning four centuries, the John L. Wehle Gallery can serve as another effective resource for social studies. Art refects the social and cultural environment within which it is created and so can serve as a window to different places and times. In additiion, much can be learned from the gallery's historic clothing collection, the largest privately held collection in the country.
The Genesee Country Nature Center can help students understand the history of people on the landscape over the past 200 years. Guided hikes on trails that crisscross previously farmed land as well as meadows and woodlands are structured to foster your students’ individual exploration and discovery.
NYS Learning Standards:
SS1: History of the United States and New York
SS2: World History
SS5: Civics, Citizenship and Government
Home for the Holidays (Grades K-12)
This one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary program traces the evolution of winter holiday celebrations in America through the 19th century, with special emphases on the contributions of various cultural groups. Historic buildings decorated to period are staffed by museum educators who help students understand the cumulative and changing nature of holiday observances. Students are invited to join in holiday activities during their visit. You may opt to have students make a tin ornament of their own by working alongside the village tinsmith for an extra charge.
Can't make it to the museum? Let us bring our “Moveable Museum” programs to you. These in-classroom learning experiences are excellent on their own or as a pre- or post-visit experience to enhance the lessons of your field trip.
Museum educators bring touchable, usable objects to your classroom in connection with standards-relevant themed programs specially designed to fit with your curriculum. Programs are designed for small class-sized groups and last 45-60 minutes.
The Animal Kingdom (Preschool-Grade 3)
A museum naturalist visits your classroom and brings a group of small animal friends for your students to meet. This program focuses on animal diversity and biological adaptations.
Quilt Story (Preschool-Grade 3)
Our museum educator uses quilts to bring to life the touching story of a 19th-century girl and her quilt. Based on The Quilt Story written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Tomie dePaola.
Small Folks (Preschool-Grade 3)
Your students can learn what a typical day was like for children more than a century ago through hands-on activities using 19th-century objects and clothing.
19th-Century Music (Grades 2-12)
All music in the 19th century was live and unplugged. With the guidance of a museum educator, your students will learn about musical instruments available in the 19th century, including the American reed organ, autoharp and pennywhistle, and they will discover the social and historical contexts of familiar patriotic songs and folk songs from America and abroad.
19th-Century Dance (Grades 3-12)
In the 19th century, dancing was a great form of physical exercise as well as a good opportunity for social interaction. Your students will learn some dance steps and then try them out to 19th-century music.
19th-Century Fashion (Grades 7-12)
Costuming is an integral interpretive tool at Genesee Country Village & Museum. In this program, we bring you a sampling of 19th-century clothing styles along with explanations of the origins and functions of costume elements. The program can be customized to suit your specific needs and time frame and may be requested in either a lecture format or as a fashion show. Pricing reflects the number of models and program length.
Play Ball! (Grades 3-12)
Using America’s national pastime as a tool for teaching, a museum base ball player in 19th-century uniform engages your students in the history, culture, and strategies of stick-and-ball games. Specific activities are tailored to grade level and to whether the program is conducted indoors or outside.
The Tinsmith (Grades 3-12)
In this inquiry-based program, our Genesee Country tinsmith brings some of his shiny wares as well as the tools he uses to make them so your students can see both process and result. Students are challenged to figure out how this technology was employed to solve specific problems and meet particular needs. The tinsmith also shares insights into his role in early American economies and compares it to that of his 21st-century counterpart – the hardware store.
The Little Red Schoolhouse (Grades 4-8)
Let us turn your classroom into a 19th-century oneroom schoolhouse. Our museum educator reminds students of the rules of discipline while guiding them through their lessons. They are asked to engage in cooperative learning, practice their penmanship, use a slate and read stories from a McGuffey reader.
Objects from History (Grades 4-12)
Our museum educator brings unusual and everyday objects from the 19th century to your classroom. Students have the opportunity to examine the objects and discover on their own how people devised technological solutions to meet their specific needs. This program provides ample opportunities to compare the tools and constructs of the past with those of today, and is an excellent starting point for further research.
Wildlife of the Genesee Country (Grades 4-12)
A visit from our museum naturalist helps your students learn about the animals native to the Genesee Country and how and why wildlife populations changed with the advent of Euro-American settlement. This history-based nature program provides students with plenty of opportunities to examine animal skulls, bones and skins as well as live specimens.
History in the Kitchen (Grades 7-12)
A museum cook shows how she uses 19th-century cookbooks, household inventories, diaries, and letters to recreate menus of the past and to understand how people prepared, stored and served their food. She brings receipts (recipes) as well as examples of cookware and other kitchen utensils to illustrate this most “tasteful” approach to learning about the past.
The Language of Flowers (Grades 7-12)
Learn about one of the most enchanting customs of the 19th century–communicating through flowers instead of words. From the four-leaf clover to the red rose, each was used to communicate a specific thought or feeling. Our museum educator brings examples of flowers and engages your students in making 19th-century-style tussie mussies (bouquets).
Victorian Yuletide (Grades 7-12)
Festive seasonal decorating flourished in Victorian America, and preparations began months in advance. Using historical documentation reflecting the cultural origins of various Victorian holiday traditions, a museum educator facilitates your students’ recreation of the spirit and charm of 19th-century yuletide celebrations.
GCVM is open 10 am-4 pm Tues.-Sun.
Closed Mondays except for May 27, Sept. 2 & Oct. 14