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Inviting Conversation. Challenging Conventional Thinking.

K - 12 Student Programs: Connecting Students To The Power of Place

We recognize educators’ critical role in helping students connect with the past. Our resources give teachers the opportunity to supplement the classroom experience with visits to our house museums. By exploring the house museums, students are engaged and immersed in the "Power of Place."

  • Field Trips
  • Traveling Trunks Program
  • King Charles to King Cotton
  • Plan Your Visit
  • Teacher Resources

Field Trips

We offer a variety of standards-based educational programs to suit different grade levels. Each program features a focused tour and hands-on activity.

Masons, Merchants, and Mathematicians

The purpose of this program is to immerse students in early American history by visiting an authentic historic property and solving real-world math problems using Charleston’s architecture. Program content includes the political, economic, technological, and social transformations that occurred in early America between the 18th and 19th centuries. Students will gain historic perspectives by walking in the footsteps of those who lived through the state’s Colonial, Revolutionary, and Antebellum periods. Immersed in Charleston's urban environment, students will solve geometry and measurement problems using the historic buildings and ironwork that they see throughout the city.

Download the Teacher Guide

Antebellum South Carolina

Students will visit both museum houses for a complete view of Antebellum South Carolina. Daily life, slavery, socio-economic divides and politics are addressed. The program specifically meets third and eighth grade standards, but is suitable for anyone studying South Carolina or early American history.

Download the Teacher Guide

Children and Families of the Past

What was life like before the Civil War? How did they dress? What did they eat? How has technology changed lifestyles? Designed for kindergartners, this program is suitable also for young elementary-aged children. With a visit to both house museums, students will see first-hand early technological advances such as gas lighting and the impact these "modern conveniences" had.

Download the Teacher Guide

Ask about customizing the experience for your students.

Traveling Trunks Program

Bring history alive in your classroom by checking out a Traveling Trunk or having a member of our education staff teach a lesson with your class! Based on the SC State Social Studies Standards, students will learn the curriculum while engaged in a fun experience such as telling Gullah stories, examining artifacts and analyzing documents. Trunks and in-class activities are designed for grades K-8.

Classes and trunk themes are:

  • Archaeology and Daily Life
  • American Revolution
  • Gullah Culture & Cash Crops

Request a Traveling Trunk Learn More

King Charles to King Cotton

Immerse your students in 300 years of South Carolina's story with a engaging standards-based field trip! The Nathaniel Russell House has teamed up with The Powder Magazine and Old Slave Mart Museum on an educational adventure that spans the state's history from 1670 when Charles Town was settled to 1860 when cotton was the king of cash crops. This field trip is designed for South Carolina Public Schools, curriculum-based and includes hands-on activities and a scavenger hunt that connects the three sites.

Download the Teacher Guide

Plan Your Visit

We're delighted you are interested in visiting us. Please do let us know if you have questions.

How to Schedule a Visit

  • Advance reservations are required. Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend booking one-month in advance, but can generally accommodate bookings with two-week's notice.
  • Written cancellation is required. Groups not cancelling in writing at least 10 days prior to the visit will be charged 20% of total due.
  • Full payment is due by the start of the tour. We accept cash, check and all major credit cards. Checks should be made payable to Historic Charleston Foundation.
  • You will be billed for the number of attendees on your registration form.
  • Please view PDFs for pricing and logistics of education programs.
  • Our Education Coordinator will email you with confirmation, an invoice and additional logistical information.
  • Pre-visit and post-visit guides are available to help prepare your students. Please check the Teacher Resources Tab.
  • Morning visits are preferable for scheduling house tours/activities and walking tours.
  • 100 students is maximum capacity for a field trip. (50 students per house at a time.) Additional students may be accommodated over subsequent days.
  • 1 teacher or chaperone per 10 students is the maximum allowed.
  • Students should leave belongings on the bus when touring.
  • Nearby parks are available for lunch locations following the education program.
  • Contact Mary Jatkowski with any questions and to book your trip!
Register Here

Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources by Historic Charleston Foundation

Historic Charleston Foundation’s Teacher Resources support educators in making social studies fun and engaging for their students. We've developed several classroom activities that may to be used as pre/post visit Lessons. These activities complement field trips to our historic house museums or may be used as standalone curriculum support.

Before or after visiting the Aiken-Rhett House and/or Nathaniel Russell House, students may enjoy writing in a journal page or using the venn diagram. These activities will help them make comparisons and develop empathy for historic figures of the past while allowing them to make connections to their textbooks. They are designed for various grade levels based on the South Carolina Social Studies Standards. These and other activities are found below.

If you have not scheduled a field trip with us, be sure to do that using our online reservation form found here, or rent out a traveling trunk with artifacts and lesson plans to bring into your classroom!

Adult and Family Programs

Our adult programs range from engaging talks on preservation, history and craftsmanship to forums on current issues like transportation, mobility and rising sea levels. The Festival of Houses and Gardens and the Charleston Antiques Show are our largest educational programs, designed to celebrate Charleston’s distinctive architecture and its material culture.

Upcoming Adult and Family Events

There are currently no upcoming events

History Matters

Winter 2020-21 Archives Update

ATTENTION ALL RESEARCHERS! Since the last Archives update of Spring 2020, many new items have been added to the Archives/Library, including property information, books and reports, photographs, and more. Here…

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Women in History Scavenger Hunt

Charleston’s history is one long tale of fearless women from all walks of life rising to the occasion and getting things done, like the Grimke sisters, featured above. Take a…

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Small Spaces Yield Big Finds at the Nathaniel Russell House

Due to her diminutive size – errrr, we mean her passion for exploration –  HCF summer intern Rucha Kamath, a graduate student in the joint Clemson University and College of…

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