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tagline: History Moving Forward

School and Youth Groups

House Tours

The McCook Family in Victorian Hartford
Travel back in time to see how life in Hartford has changed over the past 100 years. Meet members of the McCook family and learn how the city of Hartford evolved over the nearly 200 years the family lived on Main Street. Students will use music, manners and art to compare and contrast how growing up in the late 1800s differs from a child's life today.

Two workshop options are available to complement this tour:

o Meet Mippie: An Introduction to Primary Sources
How did people stay in touch before e-mail? Students discuss different types of primary sources, including letters, photographs, and interviews. They then analyze a letter that Eliza (Mippie) McCook wrote to her aunt and use it to learn more about the McCooks' lives.
o Laundry Day: Using Objects to Learn about Servants Lives
No washing machine, no problem! Students learn how to read an artifact from the past through a hands-on exploration of a washboard, an unfamiliar object to today's children. This activity also introduces students to life as a household servant in 19th-century Hartford.

Grade Level: 3-6
Tour Length: 45 minutes
Workshop Length: 45 minutes

Paths to Change
A joint program with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.
Visit the historic houses of Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Reverend John James McCook and watch your students engage in history. Paths to Change introduces students to two Hartford social reformers and encourages them to expand their viewpoints on two of the largest social issues of the 19th century: slavery and homelessness. Students compare and contrast the paths that these two individuals used to make changes in their own communities: Stowe advocating for the end of slavery and McCook studying and working to help the homeless.

Program includes a comprehensive teacher's guide, pre-visit classroom activities, and a post-visit essay activity that fit into the CMT and CAPT standards (persuasive and expository essays).

The program is free to Hartford public school students; the cost for non-Hartford students is $10. 1 chaperone is free for every 10 students; additional chaperones $7 each.

Grade Level: 4-12
Tour Length: 3 hours [includes 60 minute tour of McCook and Stowe houses, travel time, and lunch (not provided)].

Walking Tours

I Spy Main Street!
Children experience the history of Main Street while searching for architectural features to complete their I Spy worksheets. The tour focuses on the different types of structures found on Main Street, including churches, businesses, government buildings, and museums, dating from the 17th century to present-day.
Southside Architecture Scavenger Hunt
During the 19th century, the Southside of Main Street became a fashionable neighborhood and home to vital industrial businesses. Students learn about the people who lived in this neighborhood and the different immigrant groups that moved to Hartford. Participants receive an introduction to architectural styles and identify building styles using an architectural scavenger hunt worksheet.
Exploring Bushnell Park
Completed in 1864, Bushnell Park was the first American park built and paid for by a city's citizens. It continues to be a place of natural beauty. The tour explores the history of some of the park's major elements, including the Soldier and Sailor's Arch and the Corning Fountain. Participants design their own postcards, based on historic images.

Grade Level: 3-12
Tour lengths: Approximately 1-1 ½ hours.

Hands-on History Activities

Complement your house or walking tour with one of the following activities. All activities appropriate for grades 3-6.
Portrait Perusal: How did people create pictures before cameras? After viewing the McCooks' portraits, children create their own self-portrait.
Activity Length: 30-45 minutes.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs: How did people advertise before billboards and television? Children examine historic trade signs and make their own sign for their dream modern job.
Activity length: 30-45 minutes.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!: The Blizzard of 1888: Children learn about the storm that covered Hartford with more than three feet of snow and created twenty-five foot tall snow drifts! Participants make their own Winter Wonderland Scenes to hang in their windows at home.
Activity length: 45-60 minutes

Parades and Battle Flags: Why do we have parades? What types of parades did the McCooks see marching down Main Street? Learn about parades, including Battle Flag Day, and create your very own Civil War battle flag.
Activity length: 45-60 minutes

Drawing in the Garden: Come and discover the beauty of the 19th -century garden at the Butler-McCook House. Children draw their favorite flowers and plants and frame their artwork. Seasonal.
Activity length: 30-45 minutes.

Decorating for the Holidays:
Celebrate the holiday season by touring the decorated Butler-McCook House! Make ornaments similar to the ones owned by the McCook family. Seasonal.
Tour and Activity length: 45-60 minutes

Create a Cityscape:
Students create their own version of the Hartford cityscape. Participants choose an image of one of the historic buildings to paint. Offered in conjunction with the walking tours.
Activity length: 30-45 minutes

Where in time is ?:
Become a time traveler and uncover important events from Hartford history. Students tour the permanent exhibition in the Main Street History Center and complete timelines.
Activity length: 30-45 minutes.

Unless noted otherwise, all house or walking tours cost $5 per student and include 1 hands-on activity. Additional hands-on activities may be added for an additional $2 per child. There is a minimum cost of $30 for any scheduled museum tour and program.

1 adult chaperone is required for every 10 students. Chaperones are admitted free of charge. Additional accompanying adults, beyond the 1:10 chaperone-student ratio, are charged regular museum admission.

Deposit/Cancellation Policy
A deposit in the amount of 50% of your group's expected total is required to secure a reservation. This deposit is non-refundable if the visit is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.

Bad Weather Policy
Cancellation caused by inclement weather (snow/ice) must be made by 9 a.m. on the day of the visit; such cancellation will be rescheduled for a later date. CTL will assume cancellation of the program should the scheduled school district close.

Booking Information
For additional information on School & Youth Programs at The Butler-McCook House & Garden, or to make a reservation, please contact the Site Administrator at 860-522-1806, or butler.mccook@ctlandmarks.org

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