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School and Youth Groups

Historic Newton offers programs for student groups grades K-12 at the Jackson Homestead and Museum and at the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, or off-site. The programs engage children in active learning through observing, discussing, and participating in hands-on activities. 

The Jackson Homestead and Museum was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.We invite public and private schools, homeschooling families, scout troops, camps, and afterschool groups to participate in our education programs.

All Historic Newton education programs support standards from the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for History and Social Studies and for English Language Arts and Literature (Common Core). View our standards matrix for details.

The programs listed below are available throughout the year.

Programs at the Jackson Homestead and Museum

Journey on the Underground Railroad
(Grades 1-12, recommended for grades 3-8, 90 minutes)  

Discover the stories of brave men and women who dared to free themselves from slavery. Explore the Jackson Homestead, a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. Would you risk your life, your livelihood, or your status in the community to free yourself or to assist freedom seekers? Test your knowledge of the Underground Railroad with our online quiz!

This program was developed with funding from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Digging for Evidence
(Grades 2-8, 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.

If You Lived at The Jackson Homestead
(Grades K-12, recommended for grades K-3, 60 minutes)
Examine and handle photographs, textiles, tools, and other artifacts to piece together the story of daily life in 19th-century Newton. How was life then different than it is now? What has remained the same?

Programs at the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds

Colonial Survival and Civility
(Grades K-12, 90 minutes)
Could you survive and thrive in Colonial Newton? Explore the Durant-Kenrick House, tend the gardens, and barter with your neighbors to make sure the whole community has enough food and fuel to make it through the year.

Programs at Your Site

Mapping Your Town
(Grades 2-8, 90 minutes)
Take on the role of city planners as you develop the City of Newton with residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. Be sure to add parks and other green spaces to your plan to make sure your city meets its residents' needs.

Journey on the Underground Railroad
(Grades 1-12, recommended for grades 3-8, 60 minutes)
Let us bring stories of brave men and women who dared to free themselves from slavery to you! Would you risk your life, your livelihood, or your status in the community to free yourself or to assist freedom seekers?

Custom Programs

We are happy to work with you to design a program that fits your curriculum goals. Our collections span more than three centuries of local history and can support learning in any subject area. Custom programs can take place at a Historic Newton location or at your site.

Contact Sarah Cole at the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds ( or 617-641-9142) to discuss content and scheduling for custom programs.

What Teachers Say

"This trip is always very worthwhile!!! It brings history alive for the kids." -1st Grade
"It was a wonderful way to integrate our curricula both visually and experientially." -5th Grade
"I really appreciate both the content of the program and [the] responsive manner with the children." -3rd Grade
"A wonderful program enjoyed by children, their parents and me! We all learned so much!" -3rd Grade

Scheduling a Visit

Pricing and Additional Information

  • School programs are $3 per student. Chaperones are admitted free. Groups from Newton Public Schools are admitted free. 
  • Groups participating in "Digging for Evidence" will be charged a $30 materials fee. Newton Public Schools are also charged the materials fee.
  • There is a $30 fee per additional half hour for historic outdoor games.
  • We require at least 1 chaperone for every 6 students.
  • Programs at your site cost $90 per presentation per classroom.
  • Cancellations must be made at least 2 business days in advance. The full program fee will be charged if less than 2 business days' notice is given.