Museum Programs (K-12)

Primary /Secondary Programs (K-12) offer interesting and innovative workshops connecting exhibitions and library resources to classroom curriculum for grades K-12. Teachers are invited to schedule their classes to participate in the following types of programs:

Self-Guided Visits allow you and your class to visit NHM on your own. Activity Guides are available upon request.

All programs are taught by trained museum staff. Museum Programs and Outreach are designed for classes of up to 30 students. One adult per ten students is required.

All programs require advance registration. Please see Scheduling Programs for more information.

The programs listed below are available at NHM, Tuesdays – Fridays, throughout the school year. Advance reservations are required. All programs are created to connect with Connecticut curriculum standards and  all content is designed for specific grade levels.


Museum Programs

The Quinnipiac: The People and the Land (Grades K–3)

Through hands-on activities and storytelling, students will learn about the Quinnipiac people who lived in the New Haven region before the Puritans. Through reproduction artifacts and maps, students will make their own connections about Quinnipiac life and the natural environment.


NEW! Moving Through New Haven! (Grades K–5)

STEAM and Social Studies Focus

From ships to steamboats, and horses and carriages to trolleys and trains, discover how New Haven residents moved around and how new technologies changed the city. Students will learn about figures, such as William Lanson, an engineer and leader in New Haven’s Black community, who built Long Wharf in 1810 to expand shipping in the region. Participants will create a two-panel drawing of transportation in their communities in the past and present.

NEW! Becoming New Haven: Past/Present (Grades K–5)

Explore one-of-a-kind objects about New Haven’s past and present on this highlights tour focused on the theme of community. Objects include materials about oystering, paintings of the Green, equipment used by 19th century volunteer firefighters, a portrait of William Lanson, Frank Pepe’s pizza dough mixer, and more. Students will draw an object related to their lives or communities that they would like to see represented in the museum.

Colonial New Haven (Grades K–2)

What was life like for Colonial children and adults in the 1700s? Students will explore New Haven during the colonial period by examining reproduction objects, including colonial games, and artifacts in New Haven Illustrated. They will compare and contrast similarities and differences in daily life.

Explore New Haven Green (Grades 3–8)

Students will explore the history of the New Haven Green through maps, artifacts, and art! This program provides students with an opportunity to understand the “heart” of the city of New Haven. The program includes a tour around the Green that introduces students to themes of architecture, commerce, and a changing landscape.

Revolutionary New Haven (Grades 3–8)

How did New Haven residents in the Revolutionary era experience the war and fight for liberty and justice? Students will view paintings, and explore artifacts from a soldier’s haversack, and accounts by New Haven residents. Students will learn about the advocacy of Black New Haven residents during the Revolutionary period who petitioned for the abolition of slavery in Connecticut in 1788.

This program brings together the Revolutionary New Haven and Enslaved Voices programs to present a broader understanding of the period.

Migration, Labor, and Industry (Grades 4–8)

Through artifacts and documents, students will learn about migration and immigration of various groups to New Haven and discuss the push and pull factors families have experienced. Students will also make connections between migration and New Haven’s history of commerce, labor, its emergence as a major industrial city, and its continually evolving neighborhoods.

Note: High School groups interested in this topic can also combine this program with a tour of the Museum.

The Amistad (Grades 5–12)

Who were the Amistad captives and what is the historical significance of the Amistad revolt and trial? This program provides a tour of The Amistad Story exhibition, focusing on resistance to enslavement, abolition, the judicial system and legacies of the trial, and representation of Amistad in the arts. Drawing from primary sources and images, students will engage in multiple dimensions of the Civics and the Social Studies Inquiry cycle to explore questions about the meaning of justice and freedom.

Outreach Programs

For more information about Outreach programs that bring museum resources, including reproduction artifacts and documents, to your school, click here.

Self-Guided Tours

Self-guided tours may be scheduled to allow you and your class to visit the Museum on your own. A staff member will greet your group upon arrival and provide an orientation to the Museum. A minimum of 1 adult per 10 students is required (1 adult per 5 students is preferred). Please plan to divide your class into small groups (no larger than 10 per group) when visiting. Each small group must have an adult leader.

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