School Programs

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Do you want your students to see history up close and personal? Make history come alive by bringing your class to Historic Christ Church & Museum, where students explore life in colonial Virginia. Step back in time with these engaging, hands-on programs!

Historic Christ Church & Museum offers school programs year-round, free of charge for students K–12 and at the college level. For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact the Foundation office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (804) 438-2441.

Colonial Discovery Days: Grades K–5, Length: 2.5 to 4 hours. Life in eighteenth-century Virginia was very different from life today. Students will gain a new appreciation for history with a variety of hands-on learning experiences. Tour the 1735 church and see how the indentured, enslaved and free craftsmen who built Christ Church used materials like wood, iron, stone and oyster shells to create this stunning building. Learn all about brickmaking in colonial Virginia and get your hands dirty molding your own brick from clay. Sketch architectural features from Christ Church to learn about triangles, arches, ellipses, symmetry and more. Take a grave rubbing from a seventeenth-century tomb. Assemble a king-post roof truss just like the one in Christ Church using mortise and tenon joinery. See artifacts from colonial Virginia like an 18th-century writing desk, Native American stone points, and the jawbone of a wild boar! Learn to write with quill pens. In the museum build your own brick wall or arch and design a digital model of Christ Church. After lunch on the grounds, excavate a mock archaeological site to uncover everyday objects from the 18th century then try on colonial clothing and play colonial games to wrap up this exciting journey back to 1735!

Pre-visit and post-visit resources provide teachers with classroom materials including primary documents, map skills, timelines, writing exercises, and other SOL-based lessons related to Christ Church and colonial Virginia.

A Parish and Its People: Grades 6–12, Length: 2 hours. Examine the world of colonial Virginia through one of its fundamental institutions, the Church of England. With mandatory attendance and taxation, the Church of England played a central role in eighteenth-century lives. See how the physical plan of Christ Church reflects society at that time. Read a proclamation from the governor. Handle original building materials, build a brick wall and make a brick by hand. Examine primary accounts of community life played out in parish churchyards. See original artifacts from Robert Carter's Corotoman mansion and excavations in the churchyard. Explore interactive computer displays of the people and places of Christ Church Parish.

Archaeology in the Classroom: Outreach Grades 1–12, Length: 1 hour. Bring archaeology to your classroom with this exciting program. The lesson begins with a PowerPoint presentation on primary/secondary documents and principles of historical archaeology. Next, students examine original artifacts connected to Christ Church and Corotoman, Robert “King" Carter's plantation home. Students then excavate “shoebox sites" to uncover artifacts representative of colonial Virginia. What are these objects and who may have used them?

"Archaeology in the Classroom" is offered independently or as a pre-visit to “Colonial Discovery Days” or “A Parish and Its People. A maximum of twenty-five students per group, please. Teachers/grade levels working together may schedule the program for repeat sessions, as needed, over one to two days to reach all their students.