The Jackson Homestead and Museum offers programs for student groups in grades Pre-K through 12 that provide an opportunity to explore the history of American people using the City of Newton as a case study. The programs engage children in active learning through observing, discussing, and participating in hands-on activities.
TOPIC I: Journey on the Underground Railroad
Engage the minds and imaginations of learners of all ages and discover what really happened on the Underground Railroad. Come to Historic Newton’s Jackson Homestead and Museum—tour the house where the Jackson family took in people escaping from slavery, act out a trial under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, hear stories and try hands-on activities—all to experience what life was like for enslaved people in the United States.
Journey on the Underground Railroad
(Grades K-5, 60 minutes, Visit Guide)
Journey on the Underground Railroad with primary source activity
(Grades 6-12, 60 minutes, Visit Guide)
Test your knowledge of the Underground Railroad with our online quiz!
These programs were developed with funding from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
TOPIC II: Native American History
Penobscot Indian ball and triangle game
Native American History and Culture
(Grades K-3, 60 minutes) Learn about what life was like for the first people of North America. Artifacts, oral traditions, and hands-on activities illustrate the traditions and history of the Native Americans of our region.
- Play Native American games
- Learn about native plants and their uses
- Explore an Algonquian language
- Handle tools and natural materials
- Make your own ring and pin game
Digging for Evidence
(Grades 4-6, 75 minutes)
Get your hands dirty at our Digging for Evidence program! Do a mock dig in the backyard of the Jackson Homestead. Discover how archaeologists work and do the detective work of history. Students will learn how archaeology can teach us about the Native American people who lived in this area before European settlement.
TOPIC III: Family Life in the 1800s
Photographs, clothing, and artifacts illustrate a day in the life of the Jacksons in the 1800s. These programs integrate well with studies of family life, 19th-century social history, and local history.
If You Lived at The Jackson Homestead
(Grades K-2, 60 minutes, Visit Guide
Explore the everyday life of a family in the 1800s. After playing a guessing game with artifacts in the Jackson's kitchen, students handle artifacts relating to work, school, cooking, and fun and games! Time for a teacher-provided snack can be arranged.
19th-Century Family Life
(Grades 3 and up, 60 minutes, Visit Guide)
Examining artifacts and clothing in the Jackson's kitchen, students will get a sense of the differences between their everyday lives and that of a family in the 19th-century. The program also includes a hands-on activity which challenges students to determine what artifacts were made of and used for by handling genuine 19th-century tools, games, books, and other artifacts.
What Teachers Say
"This trip is always very worthwhile!!! It brings history alive for the kids." -- First Grade, Runkle School, Brookline
"It was a wonderful way to integrate our curricula both visually and experientially." -- Fifth Grade, Jackson School, Newton
"I really appreciate both the content of the program and [the] responsive manner with the children." -- Third Grade, Northfield (MA) Elementary
"A wonderful program enjoyed by children, their parents and me! We all learned so much!" -- Third Grade, Bowen School, Newton
Scheduling a Visit
Pricing and Additional Information
- For all programs except "Digging for Evidence," the fee per program is $65.00 per group of up to 30 students. These programs are free for Newton Public Schools.
- "Digging for Evidence" is $85.00 per group of up to 30 students. Newton Public Schools classrooms will be charged a $35.00 materials fee only for this program.
- There is a $25.00 fee per additional half-hour for lunch, museum time, and/or outdoor games.
- Each group should have at least four and no more than ten adult chaperones, including teachers and aides.
- Parking is available in front of the museum on Washington Street and around the corner on Jackson Road.
- Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. The full program fee will be charged if less than 48 hours notice is given.