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Engaged Holyoke students on a field trip to Wistariahurst Museum

Wistariahurst Museum can provide a one-of-a-kind educational program that ties in with current school curriculum like immigration, industrial revolution and local history while creating memorable learning experiences. Below are a few options we offer for students of many ages. With advance planning, we can also help you design a local history program specific to the needs of your classroom.

Wistariahurst is committed to making our educational experiences accessible to all students. Program fees support supplies and staff costs for on-going programs. We will not turn away any school because of financial limitations; Please contact us regarding scholarship options.

Tour of Wistariahurst

Focusing on the story of William Skinner, his world famous silk mill and the lives of his family and servants, a tour of Wistariahurst opens guest’s eyes to life from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Tours of Wistariahurst Museum can be tailored to many different subjects to help meet educator’s goals, whether you are studying the Industrial Revolution, Holyoke’s rich history, class divides, sericulture, the Victorian Era or one of many other topics.
Program Length: approx. 1 hour
Cost: $5 per student with educators and chaperones free of charge, free for Holyoke Public Schools
Maximum: 30 students
Appropriate for grades 5 and up

How to Read a Document/Photograph/Artifact Program

This program provides students of all ages with the opportunity to understand what an archive is, what an archivist does, and why the work is important to their communities. Students will also be brought into the work themselves. They will learn how to extract information from inanimate objects, historic documents, photographs, and other items from our collection. It will also develop skills in teamwork, writing, and public speaking. A popular choice for groups from elementary school all the way through college!
Program Length: 30 – 60 minutes
Cost: $5 per student with educators and chaperones free of charge
Maximum Capacity: 20 people
Can be adapted for most ages elementary school and up

Create an Exhibit

This program is designed to provide students with an understanding of how editorial perspectives are introduced into museum exhibits. Students will be given a few historical items and a point of view or perspective to which they are constrained. They must develop and exhibit including a title, decide which items to use and which to edit out; set up the display sequence; write object labels; and tell the story all in a compelling and enticing way. There is time for viewing each exhibit and feedback about what made some exhibits enticing and other not. Students will leave with a more critical and discerning eye for when they visit exhibitions at museums in the future.
Program Length: 60 – 90 minutes
Cost: $5 per student with educators and chaperones free of charge
Maximum Capacity: 20 people
Can be adapted for most ages elementary school and up

Immigration Experience at Wistariahurst Museum

Things They CarriedWistariahurst Museum’s Immigration Experience is a unique way for students to experience the life of an immigrant during their voyage to America around the turn of the century and what they had to endure in their quest to create a new home. The day’s adventures focus on Holyoke’s major ethnic population, French Canadian, German, Irish, Polish and Puerto Rican, with students immersing themselves in several activities these groups were involved in. Students will not only be learning about immigrants and migrants and their journey to the Paper City, students will also become acquainted with the story of William Skinner and his successful life in America as an English immigrant.

This program is offered annually during May and June.
Program Length: approx. 3 hours
Cost: $7 per student for Holyoke schools, $9 per student for non Holyoke schools, educators and chaperones free of charge
Minimum: 20 students / Maximum: 60 students
Appropriate for grades 3 – 5

 

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