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Teacher-developed and student-tested, Genesee Country Village & Museum Focused Field Studies (Tuesdays & Wednesdays only) provide immersive experiences for your students and allow you to direct attention to specific topics that coordinate with your curriculum plans.
Your students will work in small groups with museum staff in settings especially created to facilitate understanding and skill development. Field experiences vary but may include doing chores, cooking, investigating nature, or performing.
When you choose from one of our Focused Field Studies, you’ll receive a study guide especially developed for that topic. Each includes pre-visit activities to prepare your students for their field experience as well as post-visit activities for use as follow-throughs or extensions. A historic context helps set the stage, and a topical bibliography of books, magazines, videos, and websites facilitates further exploration. Each guide also includes a vocabulary list, sample organizers and worksheets for copying as needed.
Businesses & Professions in 19th-Century America (Grade 4-College)
Students are introduced to the ways people made a living in the 19th-century. They spend time visiting the Hosmer’s Inn to learn what is involved in operating the business by helping prepare for the next group of guests. They also visit the Altay General Store, where they process inventory, sort mail, wrap packages and more to convince the storekeeper that they would make a fine clerk. Students may also interview specialists at other businesses and professions in the historic village to find out what training, skills, and tools are needed to pursue other 19th-century jobs.
NY State Standards: CDOS 1; SS 1; ELA Common Core SL 1,2,3,6
Students explore how 19th-century Americans met their communities’ needs and wants and how this changed over time with advances in communication, transportation and technology. Students in small groups visit selected trades or crafts to determine the resources and process required to produce an item, the basic needs the item meets, and the modes of its distribution. In each case, students have opportunities to perform at least one step in the production process they observe. Later, students visit village buildings to identify examples of the trades and crafts they examined in the morning and to determine how they were used, by whom and how regularly.
This interdisciplinary unit uses food as a way to examine 19th-century American life. Students will participate in a hands-on cooking activity with a museum cook in one of our historic building. They then visit other kitchens to learn about ingredients and their sources, cooking and food-preservation technology, resource utilization, and relationships between food and culture. They will also visit village tradesmen to learn about the products each made and how these were used in preparing and storing food. By investigating food-related topics at a series of homes from different times in the 1800s, students collect information enabling them to consider change through time and to compare and contrast the 19th-century with the one in which they live today.
NY State Standards: HPEFCS 1, 2, 3; SS 1; ELA Common Core SL 1,2,3,6
This popular program traces the history and science of maple sugaring from early American and present-day commercial production perspectives. Students hike to the sugar bush, learn why maple trees make sap, witness a 19th-century sugaring demonstration, talk with a modern-day syrup maker and taste the final product. Nature Center Program Reservation Form.
Self-Guided program available for older students
Maple Sugar Making Video
NYS Standards: MST 1, 4, 6; SS 1; ELA Common Core SL 1,2,3,6
School, Work and Play: A Child’s Life Experienced in 19th-Century America (K-College)
A 19th-century child’s life was a mix of school, work and play – just as a 21st-century child’s life is – but there were differences too. This unit focuses on the activities that engaged children in the past. Students will try their hand at period games and have a lesson at the one-room schoolhouse. They will also interview specialists at various businesses and professions in the historic village to find out what training, skills, and tools are needed to start their career as a 19th-century apprentice.
NY State Standards: HPEFCS 1; SS 1; ELA Common Core SL 1,2,3,6
Simple machines can be regarded as the elementary "building blocks" of which all more complex machines are composed. Examples of simple machines exist throughout the museum and were an important part of daily life during the 19th-century. At the Cooper Shop, students will experience, through hands-on activities, examples of each type of simple machine. The concept of how mechanical advantage is achieved through the use of these machines will be explained and demonstrated through the tools used by the cooper in making and moving his buckets and barrels. Students will discover how simple machines make play possible by trying a variety of 19th-century toys and games. They will finish by exploring the village identifying examples and functions of simple machines throughout the museum.
Simple Machine Informational Video
NY State Standards: CDOS 1; MST 1,4,5,7; SS 1; ELA Common Core SL 1,2,3,6
We the People: Government and Civic Responsibility in 19th-Century America (Grade 4-College)
This unit engages students in considering the role of civic leaders in 19th-century America with relevance to our world today. Using primary documents and true-to-the-day issues, students engage in role-playing and decision-making.
NY State Standards: A 3; SS 1, 5; ELA Common Core RL 1,2,3 SL 1,2,3,6
Can't make it to the museum? Let us bring our Moveable Museum programs to you. These 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.
Except for special events,
GCVM is now CLOSED
for the season and will
re-open May 13, 2017.