School Programs

Morris-Jumel Mansion invites all learners of all ages to explore and connect with the diverse histories and narratives of this 257 year old historic house. 

Our programs explore many facets of the historic site, including New York and American History, the land in which the home is built upon, and the stories of the surrounding neighborhood. Our offerings create meaningful opportunities for learners to see themselves reflected in the museum’s spaces and its storytelling, and become empowered to become a part of history!

Reserve a School Tour

Our Approach
  • We use inquiry-based learning (including hands-on, object-based, and multi-sensory experiences)
  • We explore primary and secondary sources to encourage learners to investigate the past and critically think about the impact of history on their lives in the present
  • We encourage respectful dialogue among learners and promote historical empathy and cultural competency in our programs
  • We explore history using multiple disciplines, including art, literature, science, and civics.

For more information, contact us at education@morrisjumel.org and visit our Reserve a School Tour page to schedule an upcoming visit with your students.

Program Details

Explore history with us by booking an on-site or virtual tour for your class! Each program is led by an educator and will provide an inquiry-based exploration of the museum and its history, with the option of adding on a related hands-on activity.

Tours are currently available Mondays through Wednesdays beginning at 10 AM.

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, programs may be able to be adapted in format and length in order to accommodate groups. Please fill out the booking form with your request.

Cost

In-person visits to the house and grounds are $9 per student ($6 for Title One students), with a limit of 30 students per time slot. Art Activities are an additional add-on of $3 per student. Virtual programs are $50 per one class.

Capacity

At this time, we are able to accommodate 30 students at a time for in-person programs. Virtual programs are capped at 30 students per class/session.

Adult / Student Ratio

  • Pre-K through Third Grade: We require one adult per 5 students for Pre-K through Third Grade visitors.
  • Fourth Grade and Older Grades:  and one adult per 10 students

Health and Safety Guidelines

Please note that we currently require proof of vaccination for interior house tours for adults and students over the age of 12. Masking is required for all programs for visitors over 2 years old.

Museum Information

Please note that the museum is in the process of reinterpreting its historical interiors, so some rooms may be different from your last visit.

Program Offerings

What Was Life Like In the Past?

An exploration of 19th century life for the Jumel and Northup Families
50 minutes, Grades K-3

Life was very different in New York City when families lived and worked at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in the nineteenth century. Discover some of the challenges and opportunities faced by adults and children in the wealthy Jumel family and the free Black Northup family who lived together in the house in the 1840s. Explore historic objects and stories about them and other people who lived at the Mansion, and make connections with how families take care of one another today.

Add-on Art Activities

Make an Herbal Sachet

Make an herbal sachet using herbs that were grown in many historic gardens which were used for cooking, medicines, and other practical purposes.

Quill pen and ink writing activity

Learn how to write in cursive letters like people did in the past using a feather quill pen, ink, and piece of parchment paper.

Curriculum Standards

K.1 Children’s sense of self is shaped by experiences that are unique to them and their families, and by common experiences shared by a community or nation.

K.2 Children, families, and communities exhibit cultural similarities and differences.

K.8 The past, present and future describe points in time and help us examine and understand events.

1.8 Historical sources reveal information about how life in the past differs from the present.

2.9 A community requires the interdependence of many people performing a variety of jobs and services to provide basic needs and wants.

3.8b Across time and place, communities and cultures have struggled with prejudice and discrimination as barriers to justice and equality for all people.

Fighting for Freedom

The Mansion During the American Revolution
(60 minutes) (Grade 4-12)

Morris-Jumel Mansion was at the center of the American Revolution during the Fall of 1776. General George Washington used the house as his military headquarters for five weeks and during his time here, the Continental Army won its first battle against the British at the Battle of Harlem Heights. This tour will explore the fight for American Independence from the perspectives of Washington, his enslaved valet, William Lee, wealthy Loyalist homeowner Mary Philipse Morris, and enslaved woman and laundress Martha Morris, using primary and secondary sources.

Add-on Art Activities

Quill pen and ink writing activity

Learn how to write in cursive letters like people did in the past using a feather quill pen, ink, and piece of parchment paper.

Uncover the lives of enslaved people at the Mansion

In this activity, use primary sources created in the 1700s and 1800s to learn more about the lives of people who were at the Mansion like Martha who were enslaved by the British Morris family and William Lee, who was enslaved by the Washington family.

Curriculum Standards

4.4d New Yorkers have rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the United States Constitution, in the New York State Constitution, and by state laws.

4.5 IN SEARCH OF FREEDOM AND A CALL FOR CHANGE: Different groups of people did not have equal rights and freedoms. People worked to bring about change. The struggle for rights and freedoms was one factor in the division of the United States that resulted in the Civil War.

9-10 RH 1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the time and place of publication, origin, authorship, etc

11-12 RH 5: Analyze in detail how a complex primary source (text, image, map, graphic, etc.) is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the source contribute to the whole.

What Does It Mean to Be an American?

From the 18th Century to Today
(75 minutes) (Grades 4-12)

What does it mean to be an American? The answer to this question depends on who you ask. This school visit uses 3-4 historic biographies, our historic house, and primary and secondary resources to explore this question, culminating in a student art and writing response to this question.

Add-on Art Activities
  • Each activity is accompanied by a discussion about the subject, and students are welcome to keep their projects. $3 per student for each activity in addition to tour cost.
  • Quill pen and ink writing (description TK)
  • Object investigations (description TK)
  • Sachet making (description TK)

Art and Writing Reflection

Students will create a written and visual art response to the question “What Does It Mean to Be an American?”

Curriculum Standards

NYS Social Studies Standards

4.4d New Yorkers have rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the United States Constitution, in the New York State Constitution, and by state laws.

4.5 IN SEARCH OF FREEDOM AND A CALL FOR CHANGE: Different groups of people did not have equal rights and freedoms. People worked to bring about change. The struggle for rights and freedoms was one factor in the division of the United States that resulted in the Civil War.

4.7 IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION FROM THE EARLY 1800S TO THE PRESENT: Many people have immigrated and migrated to New York State contributing to its cultural growth and development.

NYC Civics for All Standards

5W4: Create a poem, story, play, art work, or other response to a text, author, theme, or personal experience.

9-12 SL 1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on complex topics, texts, and issues; express ideas clearly and persuasively, and build on those of others.

9-12 WHST 4: Write responses to texts and to events (past and present), ideas, and theories that include personal, cultural, and thematic connections.

11-12 RH 7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.