Heritage Education

For information about scheduling a field trip to Massie Heritage Center, visit here. For a complete list of Heritage Education Programs currently being offered, see below. All programs are two hours unless otherwise marked. Heritage Specialists would be happy to combine programs or work with educators on your team to develop a custom program to meet your needs.

 2017-2018 Heritage Education Programs: 

Lions and Lizards and Shapes, Oh My! (Pre-K, K)

Walking Program, 1 Hour

This walking tour through Calhoun Ward is a visual discovery of animals, shapes, and textures in the architectural details of the built environment. This program presents Savannah’s unique historic district in a fun and engaging tour.

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Recess at Massie (Pre-K, K) 

Building Program, 1 Hour       

This program at Massie allows participants to play school yard games and playtime activities like those enjoyed by nineteenth-century children.  Participants experience the “suitable yards” where Massie’s students had recess.

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I Declare: Meet Thomas Jefferson (1st)          

Walking Program, 1.5 Hours

Standing in the very location where The Declaration of Independence was read in Savannah, participants learn about this important document and its author, Thomas Jefferson.  This walking program follows in the footsteps of George Washington’s visit to Savannah in 1791 and introduces participants to the contributions of local citizens such as Button Gwinnett, a Georgia signer of the Declaration.

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Oglethorpe and Tomochichi (2nd)

Walking Program, 1.5 Hours     

Overlooking historic Yamacraw Bluff, at the location where James Oglethorpe first pitched his tent, participants begin a walking tour that introduces them to the important figures and ideas in the founding of the new colony. They will walk through Savannah’s first square, past the grave site of Tomochichi, and end with the statue to General Oglethorpe himself.  Participants will also learn about the role of Mary Musgrove (Coosaponakeesa) and compare colonial life to that of today. 

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Mound Builders and Fishermen: The Indians of Georgia (2nd)          

Building Program, 1.5 Hours  

Massie’s Native American Indian exhibit is the focal point of this program. Participants will learn about Tomochichi, Mary Musgrove (Coosaponakeesa), and James Oglethorpe, as they explore the lifestyles of the Indians of Georgia. Students will create clay effigies of their favorite animals, “fish” for interesting facts, and enjoy cornbread in this comprehensive program. 

Lesson Plan and Curriculum Guide (PDF)

Savannah by the Numbers (K – 8th

Walking Program, 2 Hours     

This interdisciplinary program combines social studies with mathematics at all ages. Participants engage in problem-solving to discover Savannah’s unique city plan, the city’s rich history, and its beautiful architecture.  The length of the program is dependent on participants’ ages.  

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Savannah’s Liberty Tree (4th)

Walking Program, 2 Hours         

Participants meet at Massie and travel to Spring Hill Redoubt, the site of the Siege of Savannah.   Participants walk throughout the historic district where monuments and landmarks help tell the story of the American Revolution in Savannah.  Learn about Savannah’s Liberty Tree, Liberty Boys, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence in Savannah. 

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American Indian Cultures (3rd)

Building Program, 2 Hours      

Students will explore the American Indian in historical and cultural terms for each region. While exploring the Maritime Exhibit’s ships and rivers, students will learn about the geography and food of the American Indians through a game of “Fishing for Facts”. In the Heritage Classroom, clothing of the American Indians will be examined during a game of “hubbub.” The American Indian Exhibit will host students as they learn about the shelter of the Northeast and the Southeast American Indians before creating a “wattle and daub” house. Finally, students will create a pinch-pot after learning how clay played various roles in American Indian cultures and how American Indians continue to contribute to American life.

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History Lives in Savannah’s Cemeteries (4th, 5th, 8th)

Walking Program, 2 Hours

History comes to life in Savannah’s historic cemeteries, the resting places of many notable historic figures. Participants may choose to visit Colonial Park Cemetery to learn about the first Savannahians and their contributions to our city, state, and nation; Laurel Grove North Cemetery, the final resting place of many important people from the antebellum and Civil War periods; or Laurel Grove South chronicling the history of Savannah’s African American community from slavery to leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.  

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School Days: The Heritage Classroom (1st – 8th )

Building Program, 2 Hours   

School Days provides participants the opportunity to step back in time to an authentic nineteenth-century classroom. Participants will learn of the history of Massie School and of the school rules of “deportment”. They will then engage in “old school” grade  appropriate lessons of reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and even penmanship with quill pens. 

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Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs (5th)

Walking Program, 2 Hours

The civil rights movement is the focus of the program. Beginning at Massie, it provides an over-arching view of the struggle for education in Savannah before branching out into the national struggle. Individuals made all the difference, from the educators in clandestine schools, to church leaders, student leaders, civil rights activists such as WW Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Even though the 13th amendment officially abolished slavery in 1864, African Americans continued to suffer discrimination within that very legal system. The program also examines case studies including Plessey vs Ferguson and Brown vs. Board of Education in conjunction with the rise and fall of Jim Crow laws.  The program concludes in Green Square in front of the Second African Baptist Church.

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Civil War in Savannah (5th, 8th, HS)

Walking Program, 2 Hours

This program begins at Massie, the site of a federal hospital during Savannah’s occupation from December 1864 to January 1865. This walking tour utilizes the city’s monuments and historic sites, examining the effects of the Civil War in Savannah and its key role in the last days of the war.  

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Digging History ( 8th)  

Building Program, 2 Hours        

The land on which today’s Georgians live has been inhabited by people for over 19,000 years, yet settlers arrived from Europe and Africa only centuries ago. Learn about the pre-historic and coastal people who lived in this region. This program allows participants to examine their local environment and utilize information-processing skills to compare and contrast other cultures. Participants engage in an archaeological simulation to examine cultural artifacts.  

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A River Runs Through It (6th, 7th, 8th, HS)

Walking Program, 2 Hours

This tour begins at Massie where participants will gain an orientation of the Savannah River and its importance to the city. The tour then departs to the riverfront for a walking tour along the Savannah River.  This tour addresses the economic impact of how a major river influences the growth and development of a city, as well as the changes in shipping and trade seen throughout Georgia’s history. 

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 Savannah’s Unique City Plan (8th

Building and Walking Program, 2 Hours           

The city of Savannah comes alive as participants visualize Oglethorpe’s unique city plan through the only three dimensional model of the 2.2 square mile historic districtIt focuses on the ward as the basic building block of the city and explores the regularities and irregularities of the city as it was built and grew.  Participants have the opportunity to design their own wards and city plans. 

 The Debatable Land (8th)

Building and Walking Program, 2 Hours

This program focuses on the colonial contest among the English, Spanish, and French for conquest on the Southeast, its resources, and its Native American populations. 

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History is Monumental (8th, HS)      

Walking Program, 2 Hours         

This program begins at Massie where participants view the only three-dimensional model of the historic district. Through the unique laser show, participants gain an overview of the people and monuments they will see along Savannah’s Monument Row. This program utilizes Savannah’s monuments as focal points for local, state, national, and world history.  Groups may choose from a Revolutionary emphasis, a Civil War emphasis or a combination of the two.  At each stop, participants will discuss the importance of the historical figure memorialized, their life, and their contributions.  

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