Norwich Historical Society works closely with teachers in the elementary, middle, and high schools to develop programs that connect to the Social Studies curriculum. The goal of the Society’s education program is to have each student understand and appreciate not only the history of our town but also to understand how it relates to Vermont and United States history.
The Early Elementary Years
NHS programs in the early elementary years are guided by the following principles:
- Programs focus on stories of actual people and places in Norwich to bring history alive.
- Artifacts, documents, and photographs provide children with first-hand glimpses into the lives of people in the past and to help children differentiate between time present, time past, and time “long, long ago.”
- Programs are presented as inquiries to support the foundations of historical thinking.
Community Helpers [Visit to NHS]
Students learn how community members helped each other in the past by investigating early firefighting equipment, reenacting a bucket brigade, visiting the town jail, and by hearing hobo stories and songs. Historical Thinking Skill: Identify issues and problems of the past
Immigration to Norwich [outreach trunk]
While unpacking a trunk filled with artifacts and photographs, students draw conclusions about the immigration experience of a family who moved to Norwich at the end of the 19th century. Historical Thinking Skill: Draw upon historical and visual data
Students use artifacts to compare and contrast family life over time; considering communication, technology, transportation, recreation, and school. Historical Thinking Skill: Distinguish between past and present
Sheep to Shawl [Visit to NHS]
Students try their hand at shearing, spinning, and weaving to gain an understanding of Norwich’s agricultural history. Students connect agriculture to changing land use and environmental issues, gaining an understanding of the relationship of people to the land. Historical Thinking Skill: Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
Norwich’s Town Charter [Visit to NHS]
Students learn about Norwich’s town charter and write their own petition for a town charter in the classroom. They then visit NHS to meet reenactor, Benning Wentworth, and present their petition. Historical Thinking Skill: Demonstrate and explain the influence of ideas
Middle School Years
NHS works with 6th and 7th grade teachers to develop project-based learning activities connected to the collection. Projects are developed using primary sources from the NHS collection. These are collaborative projects based on driving questions. The outcomes of the projects are for a public audience.
6th Grade Community Service
2017 NHS Winter Exhibit: Labors of the Year, the 1934 Diary of Paul Metcalf
7th Grade Social Studies
2018 Digital Mapping: Taking a Stand: The Norwich Female Abolition Society
Our education program is funded, in part, thanks to the Norwich Lions Club.