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School Programs

School Programs

Each year the Greenwich Historical Society hosts thousands of students and teachers at Bush-Holley House, the centerpiece of our beautiful historic site on Cos Cob Harbor.

Our interactive, inquiry-based programs give students the opportunity to creatively explore topics and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Each experience is specially designed to complement classroom teaching while providing students and teachers a memorable day full of fun and discovery. Our programs cover topics such as Colonial American history, the American Revolution, slavery in the North, the Industrial Age and the development of American Impressionism. All programs meet state curriculum standards for both Connecticut and New York.

On-Site Programs for Grades K-2

This program is designed to be the foundation on which students can build their understanding of what it was like to live in colonial times. Students will rotate between four fun and exciting stations at which they will explore colonial cooking, clothing, games and the rhythm of everyday life. What did colonial children eat? What games did they play? What chores did they do? All these question’s and more will be answered in this introductory program.

Online Program for grades k-8

What are your students’ questions about history? Do they want to know what an 18th century classroom looked like? Or who lived in the oldest house in town? Or do they want to see the evolution of cars? In this program, educators will use photographs taken from the Greenwich Historical Society Archives to answer students’ questions about the past.

*An in-person version of this program is available

Online & AT SCHOOL Program for Grades 2-6

In this presentation, students will discover the stories behind 15 monuments here in Greenwich. They will learn what a monument is, why we build them and the stories they tell. This program is designed to help students think critically about the act of remembering and explore the history of their hometown by examining the familiar monuments placed across its landscape.

Online & on-site Program for
grades 3-4

On this tour, students will relive the dramatic events that shaped the lives of the colonial Bush family of the Bush-Holley House. This will include the struggles of being a woman of the time, the lives of the enslaved and the realities of living through the American Revolution.

Online & On-Site Programs for
Grades 5-8

In our Patriots vs. Loyalist program, students will explore what it was like to live in Greenwich during the American Revolution and just how difficult it was to choose a side.

During a field trip, students will tour the Bush-Holley House to learn how the Revolutionary War affected the Colonial Bush family and will interact with 250 year old original documents from Greenwich during the time of the Revolution.

On-SITE Program for grades 7-12

This tour is a deep dive into the realities of slavery in Connecticut. In the Bush-Holley House, students will learn about the lives of the 15 individuals who were enslaved by the Bush family on our site. 

Through this program, students will gain a deep and profoundly human understanding of what slavery looked like in Connecticut, learn what is like to do primary source research and explore the Connecticut legal system in regards to the abolition of slavery.

On-Site Programs for Grades 7-12

Are you interested in your class conducting original research to restore the lives and legacies of those enslaved in Greenwich?

Since 2019, the Greenwich Historical Society has collaborated with The Witness Stones Project on this initiative that seeks to teach students about enslaved individuals who lived in their hometowns. Since then, students have researched the lives of and placed memorial Witness Stones for: Cull Bush Sr., Patience and their children: Phillis, Milley, Rose and Cull Bush Jr.; Candice Bush, her son Jack, her daughter Hester Mead; and Charles. Together, we will bear witness to the lives of the estimated 300 enslaved individuals who lived, worked and loved here in Greenwich.

Online & On-Site Programs for grades 2-12

In this program, students will follow in the footsteps of the Cos Cob Art Colony. This Impressionist art colony, based out of our own Bush-Holley House, was one of several American Impressionist groups that helped shape the art world at the turn of the 20th century.

Students will learn about the Holley family, life in the 1900’s, dive into innovative theories of Impressionism and explore the cultural shifts and influences that create artistic movements. Students will also have their chance to paint en plein air, just like the Impressionists.

Onsite Program for grades 2-6

In this program, students will view and discuss the collection of portraits in the Bush-Holley House. They will learn to identify artistic techniques and characteristics including pose, expression, gesture and symbolic props to help develop their interpretation of the individual. In the included workshop, students will create their own self-portrait, drawing on the techniques and symbolism they have learned.

Schedule your visit today!

School programs can be scheduled Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm. One adult chaperone is required for every 10 students. Due to the size of our historic home, we have a maximum capacity of 50 students at a time. Groups larger than 50 must book additional time slots. The cost for tour based programs is $8 per student and $75 per session for lecture based programs.

We are happy to work with you curriculum goals to develop programming for students. Contact us to discuss custom programs and pricing. Please note that a custom programs will need additional preparation time to conduct research and create materials, and will be subject to additional fees.