Field Trip Opportunities

At Davies Manor we try to create out field trips to match the lesson plan of the teachers bringing their students here. Generally, field trips include a tour of the Manor house (between 30- 45 minutes) and the grounds (up to 20 minutes). Anything beyond that depends on both the number of students in each group and the time to be spent out at Davies. For tours we generally divide students into groups of about 10 students with at least one chaperone in each group. This is the best ration to allow our guides to interact with students as well as avoid putting too much stress on our historic home. Each group then rotates through a number of stations including the house and grounds. This means that the larger the group, the more activities needed to rotate them through. The possible activities fall into six categories- Active Activities, Activities in Nature, Fiber & More, Pioneer Fun, The Pioneer Way, and Lessons.

Active Activities

  1. Nineteenth Century Games

We provide a collection of nineteenth century games for students to try out. The games include quoits (corncob darts thrown through a hoop), ring toss (like horseshoes with heavy cord rings), washer pitch (tossing washers into bowls), graces (tossing a large hoop between two people and catching it on two sticks), and various running games.

Ages: all

Adult participation: not necessary

Group size: any

Time: 15- 20 minutes

 

  1. Dress Up

Be sure to bring a camera to capture students dressing up in some of our replica clothing, including trying out a replica hoop skirt. Both boys and girls enjoy this!

Ages: all

Adult participation: preferred

Group size: any

Time: depends on group size, generally 30 minutes per group of ten

 

  1. Hiking

There are hiking trails through our woods. Our woods are the home of many animals, especially deer.

Ages: any you feel comfortable with taking

Adult participation: required

Group size: any

 

  1. Scavenger Hunt

We provide a workbook with clues to find object inside, outside, or both. The clues will describe what an object does and get the children to match the description with what they see around them. An additional $1/ student in material fees.

Ages: any

Adult participation: preferred

Group size: any

Time: can be combined with house and grounds tour

 

Activities in Nature

 

  1. Cabinet of Curiosities

A popular 19th century decoration was the Cabinet of Curiosities. The cabinet would hold generally natural artifacts displayed together and intended to be taken out to show visitors. While exploring our grounds find natural artifacts to put into the class cabinet of curiosities that can be taken with or left at Davies. This activity is a great way to talk about interacting with nature as well as introducing a fun 19th century hobby. Additional $2/ student material fee, if taking “cabinet.”

Ages: any

Adult participation: required

Group size: any

Time: 15 minutes

 

  1. Natural Journal

Explore our 37 acres by taking plant rubbings and drawings of the world around you. Discover the differences between various plants and learn a little about what people thought these plants could do to help them. Each student will be given a simple journal and a pencil to take rubbings and drawings in as they go from station to station about the grounds highlighting specific plants and objects as well as any other plant or object they find that they wish to record. Additional $1/ student material fee.

Ages: any

Adult participation: required

Group size: any

Time: 20-30 minutes, would do this instead of simple ground tour

 

  1. Bees!

We have three hives of bees at Davies that we will introduce to you. Using our observation hive, students will get a look into the busy beehive while discussing the important role of bees in nature.

Ages: any

Adult participation: none

Group size: any

Time: 20-30 minutes

 

Fibers and More

 

  1. Pioneer Fiber Arts Presentation

Starting with the cotton seed we take students through all the steps from seed to clothing. We give students a handful of cotton to aid the demonstration and ask them to try to get the seed out while discussing the difficulty early farmers had and the inventions that make it so much easier today. Then we demonstrate the methods of carding, spinning, and weaving that eventually bring us to cloth production.

Ages: all, may go more or less in depth with age

Adult participation: none, (generally find interesting)

Group size: less than 40

Time: 20- 30 minutes

 

  1. Twig Looms

This activity can be done with the Pioneer Fiber Arts Presentation or as a single activity. These are looms made out of twigs and yarn that can be taken home at the end of the trip. There is an additional $1/ student materials fee.

Ages: 8 and up

Adult participation: limited

Group size: less than 30 students

Time: 10- 20 minutes

 

  1. Upcycled Drop Spindles

This activity can be done with the Pioneer Fiber Arts Presentation, the Twig Looms or both. We will present students with a homemade drop spindle and describe how it was made. Then the students can attempt to spin yarn for themselves. It is not as easy as it looks.

Ages: 8 and up

Adult participation: limited

Group size: less than 30 students

Time: 10- 15 minutes

 

Pioneer Fun

 

  1. Whirligig

A whirligig was a toy made for children in the nineteenth century out of colored paper or cardboard cut in a spiral and tied to a string that when spun around makes interesting shapes in the air. We use paper plates with the spiral pre-drawn on them. The students color whatever design they wish and then either cut on the line or get assistance doing so, hole punch a hole, and tie a string to it.

Ages: 8 and under

Adult participation: limited, cutting and hole punch

Group size: any

Time: 15 minutes

 

  1. Button Spinners

A button spinner is a button threaded on a string that can be made to move in an almost hypnotic fashion.

Ages: 8 and under

Adult participation: limited

Group size: under 40

Time: 10 minutes

 

  1. Parlor Games

What did people do for entertainment before the internet or tv? In this activity we will lead your group through some vintage parlor games. Both children and adults will enjoy these whacky games.

Ages: any

Adult participation: preferred

Group size: any

Time: 25-30 minutes

 

  1. Making Music

Pioneers often made their own musical instruments to pass the time especially in the middle of winter when there was nothing else to do. In this activity children will get to try making their own instruments out of objects we’ll provide. All “instruments” are simple enough that they can be made at home again at a later date.

Age: any

Adult participation: preferred

Group size: any

Time: 20-25 minutes

 

The Pioneer Way

 

  1. Lincoln Logs

A great way to discuss different pioneer building practices, we generally set these up in view of the multiple out buildings. This allows guides and teachers to point out the different methods of construction and allow students to attempt some building themselves.

Ages: any

Adult participation: limited

Group size: less than 25

Time: 15- 20 minutes

 

  1. Writing with Quills

For this activity, students get to try writing with quills. It can be combined with the Letter Writing activity as well or done on its own.

Ages: any

Adult participation: limited

Group size: any

Time: 20 minutes

 

  1. Letter Writing

Letter Writing is a possible continuation of Writing with Quills. For Letter Writing, students first write a letter with a quill pen and then are shown how the letter would have been folded and then sealed with wax to send it. We provide sealing wax and stamps. To clarify, sealing letters with wax requires melting the sealing wax. The sealing wax has wicks that must be lit to melt it- this would need teacher participation to light all the wicks.

Ages: 9 and up

Adult participation: none

Group size: any, but groups 50+ need over a month of notice to ensure we have a supply of the sealing wax

Time: additional 20 minutes to Writing with Quills

 

  1. Pioneer Chores

We can offer a hands-on look at some of the chores pioneer children would have done. This works especially well if the class is reading a specific book that mentions chores. Chores like laundry, darning, gardening and others can be done. If there are other specific chores please ask if we would be able to offer them, as we may be able to work something out.

Ages: any

Adult participation: limited

Group size: any

Time: depends on number of chores

 

  1. 19th Century Kitchen

We will make one “dish” together to look at the many steps required in cooking in this time period. Generally this will include making butter and a simple baked good to go with it. We will also look at other facets of cooking like the need for wood and the different types of stoves used throughout this period. Additional $3/ student materials fee.

Ages: any

Adult participation: required

Group size: under 20

Time: 30-40 minutes

 

  1. Corn Can

Follow the journey corn could make. We start with ears of corn that children feed through our corn husker. Some is fed to animals on the grounds, some is saved for planting, and some goes on to become lunch. Try using a mortar and pestle to grind the corn and then taste some corn based foods to finish. $2/ student materials fee.

Age: any

Adult participation: preferred

Group size: under 50

Time: 20-25 minutes

 

Lessons

 

  1. Civil War Trunk

For those visiting Davies learning about the Civil War we offer out Civil War Traveling Trunk. Available on its own (see Traveling Trunk brochure), the Civil War trunk can be set up during a field trip to provide hands on materials relating to the Civil War as well as other discussions about the war.

Ages: any

Adult participation: limited

Group size: any

Time: 15- 20 minutes

 

  1. Book Spotlight

If a specific book is your reason for visiting Davies Manor we do have areas where your group can sit and discuss the book. This can be combined with lunch or as its own activity. Generally, our guides would step back and let the group or groups discuss by themselves, moderated by the adults of the group.

Ages: any

Adult participation: required

Group size: any

Time: depends on depth of analysis

 

  1. A Discussion of Slavery

Available for any age but best suited for middle to high school groups, this activity would use our new exhibit “Omitted in Mass”  for an in depth discussion about slavery here at the Manor, in the region, and in the South in general. This discussion can be limited to a discussion or can also be supplemented with copies of slave documents from our archives. This can also be combined with the next activity, Oral Histories.

Ages: any

Adult participation: limited

Group size: any

Time: 20 minutes discussion

40 minutes discussion and documents

 

  1. Oral Histories

Using some clips from our oral history archives, we discuss what role oral histories play in history research and discuss the chosen theme of the clips. Some themes include how the area has changed, racial divide in the 1950s and 1960s, and other possible topics as well.

Ages: 10 and up

Adult participation: none

Group size: any

Time: 30-45 minutes

 

 

  1. Lunch

We have a couple picnic tables as well as several picnic spots in shade or sunshine where blankets can be laid. This does not necessarily have to be an activity during the tour; it can be done at the end as one group. We just ask that the students are watched so they do not endanger themselves, others, or the grounds.

Ages: any

Adult participation: required

Group size: any

Time: depends