Educational Programming

All programs offered at the Homestead from May- October
  Selected Programs can be provided in-classroom during the off-season by appointment, call for more details

To Book a Program please e-mail or call (802) 865-4556

Costs: $6 per student - Free for Teachers and School Employees

Planning Your Visit

All Programs include a guided tour of Ethan Allen’s reconstructed homestead,  hands-on museum exhibits, and a multimedia presentation in our recreated 18th Century Tavern. In addition, all groups may pick one enhanced educational activity. All activities will be administered by trained Museum staff and follow Vermont educational standards

Enhanced Activities

The Life of a Colonial Child

Thanks to a Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership

Childhood on the Colonial Frontier was short, but children were an integral part of the colonial household, and still had opportunities for play, and if fortunate, some schooling. This program helps students understand what daily life was like for frontier children.

Students will divide into three groups and rotate through  stations. Based upon groups size and teacher/ chaperone's discretion, participants may try on colonial clothes to enhance their experience.

- Toys and Games: The various toys that an eighteenth century child would have owned, including those the child would have made themselves. From Parlor Games to outdoor games people entertained themselves in a myriad of ways. Students will be able to make their own Toys either at the Museum or in the classroom.

- Education: Participants will take part in actual eighteenth century lessons, reading, writing, and ciphering. They will also get the opportunity to write using slate and chalk, then a quill and ink.

*** There will be ample time once all stations have been completed for the participants to return to the activity of their choice

The Seignurial System

Thanks to a Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership

The Champlain Valley was colonized by two major European powers, each brought their own system of land use, which is still visible in the modern landscape

Students will be introduced to a Seignurie, a style of colonization employed by the French in the Champlain Valley and throughout Quebec. Students will learn how a seignurie was run, learn to recognize who colonized an area based on land use features, and plan a seignurie of their own

***This activity can be conducted at the museum or in the classroom

Colonial Botany

Thanks to a Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership

Our 18th Century ancestors lived close to the land, and gleaned their livelihood and sustenance from the land they lived upon.

Students will be able to identify at least 10 different types o herbs and vegetables that colonial families grew in Vermont. Students will learn about the history of botany through Fanny Allen’s expertise, how each herb was used and for what purposes, how they came to be discovered, and the importance of knowing the medicinal benefits for life in Vermont during the late 17th century. Students will be able to identify different plant species and understand the medicinal aspects.

***This activity can be conducted at the museum or in the classroom

The Colonial Economy: Bartering and Trading

On the colonial Frontier, there were not many  stores, and if there was one, families seldom had cash to buy anything. So how do you get what you need?

Each participant is assigned a character and a box with appropriate items. Participants are instructed on the nature of a colonial economy: money was seldom used as a medium of economic exchange. Each person has a list of items needed and a list of items that they can offer in return. Participants are asked to think creatively, even exploring exchanges beyond those provided in their box, as long as within scope of the character's capabilities. Afterwards, discussion focuses not only on the individual's outcome of the trading, but also how the outcome reflects on a barter economy.


Colonial Politics: The Town Meeting

Government in New England was traditionally town meetings, where all citizens in good standing would gather and discuss important issues of the day, directly lobby to the town leadership, or decide taxation.

Each participant will be assigned a character or a social group and given a description of that individual/ groups political interests. Participants will be expected to represent those interests in a town meeting while a discussion is staged about an important issue in Vermont History.

Debate Topics:

  1. Vermont's entry into the United States
  2. Settlement of New York's disputed claims to Vermont lands

From Rebellion to Revolution

What is the difference between a rebellion and a revolution? The actual acts are similar, but a rebellion becomes a revolution when a successful outcome is achieved. If you look at a revolution as acts of rebellion that were successful, then the timeline of a revolution is much longer than often thought.

 This activity, intended for high school students, explores the concepts of rebellion and revolution and examines    the difference between the two. Students learn how to construct a historical narrative using primary source documents, timelines, and maps. The activity uses Vermont's Revolutionary War experience to document a historiographical theory.

Sources Used:

Government documents from Great Britain, the Vermont Republic and U.S. Congress

Letters and Pamphlets authored by Ethan Allen

A History of the State of Vermont published By Ira Allen In 1798

The Land: Then and Now

In 1787, Ethan Allen moved his family to Burlington’s intervale, hoping to spend his days living the quiet life of a farmer and philosopher. Today visitors can walk that same tract of land and learn the importance of it not only to 18th Century pioneers, but to modern people as well.

Because of the abundance of resources, intervale land was highly sought after throughout human history. The Land was often the greatest resource and tool of survival available. Today the intervale still has a great deal to teach us about conservation and wildlife. In this activity, we pair with our partner organization, the Winooski Valley Parks District, to teach about land use and conservation both in the 18th Century and today using land that was in use during both time periods.  This activity provides a broad spectrum of learning that is mostly hands-on and experiential.

-Many of the activities are outdoors, so sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing, water bottles, and insect repellent are recommended.

When planning your trip please keep in mind:

-The Weather is always a factor since many activities take place outdoors, please plan accordingly.

-The Homestead Park has many areas for picnic lunches at no cost. 

-We do have a gift shop on site where patrons can purchase books and souvenirs. 

-It takes on average 2 hours to complete all activities, but we can adapt to any schedule.