School Programs

Our school programs allow students to experience the past in a historic house setting that complements the students’ classroom learning by encouraging curiosity and critical thinking. Our tours, conducted by trained museum interpreters, align with the New York State Education Teaching Standards.

Family Life Tour: Learn about 18th and 19th Century Community and Family Life, Be Your Own Family Historian!

Grades 2-3 or for Grades 4-5

1 1/2 hours

Students tour the historic house with costumed experienced docents, and are immersed in the customs and everyday life of people living on Long Island in the Victorian and Colonial periods. Raynham Hall is a museum dedicated to the history of the Townsend family who lived here for almost 200 years. Your visit is in two parts: 1) students will tour period rooms, observe curious, beautiful objects,  and learn family stories relating to them. They will participate in hands-on examination of period objects.  They will think about changes over the centuries in the technology of everyday things, like lighting, transportation and communications. 2) The students will attend a workshop on family trees and learn how to build their own tree from scratch. Students will learn how to collect and save family memorabilia to create a family “collection,” just like a museum! The museum will provide the students with a template of a genealogical tree and teach them how to fill it in. They will come away with some idea of how things have changed over a long period of time. The objective is to develop student’s historic sensibility by thinking about their own family history and community. This is a perspective on history that few children have, but is valuable for real understanding and critical thinking.

$8 per student, teachers and four chaperones are free. Scholarships are available for schools in need, as long as funding permits.

The Colonial & Revolutionary War Era – 1740-1790

Grades 4-5

2 hours

Costumed, experienced docents lead students through the historic house and gardens. They learn the exciting role the Townsend family played during the American Revolution, especially that of Robert Townsend, a spy for General Washington known as “Culper Jr.” Consider family life, gender roles, childhood, transportation, and leisure activities as they existed in Colonial America. Students are given the opportunity to explore the museum inside and out and ask questions. Learn the Culper Code, the system used by the Spy Ring in invisible ink! Become a spy for George Washington by learning the techniques of spy craft, reporting on troop and vessel movements in Long Island Sound! Students examine hands-on colonial and reproduction artifacts and learn how they worked in every day life.

$8 per student, teachers and four chaperones are free. Scholarships are available for schools in need , as long as funding permits.