Art and Life in Early America

Registration for this tour begins July 1, 2015

Grade: 5
Tour length: 3 hours
 900 S. Beretania Street
 Tuesday – Friday, November 2015 and January, February, March 2016
Times: 9am
Group Size: 60 maximum
Fee: FREE  
Request this tour 

​Help your students prepare for the tour in two ways: Have an interactive discussion about museum etiquette. ​Practice looking at art. Click here for more information.​


This popular tour has been expanded for an all morning experience. In a recreated early American home, complete with an authentic 17th-Century fireplace, students discover the hardships of colonial life as they examine and discuss how objects were made and used for cooking, dressing, sleeping and learning. The tour includes activities in the Early American art galleries, where students investigate portraits, landscapes, and furniture. Added this year are discussions on the lives and struggles of the Native Americans and slaves in early history and a recreation of Early American activities.

​The students also have a recess where they play games played by children in early America.​

Each day, the tour accommodates 120 students from 9am to noon. We suggest teachers bring a simple group snack for the students for a mid-tour break.

Artwork on this tour:
William Guy Wall (Irish, 1792-after). Cauterskill Falls on the Catskill Mountains, Taken from under the Cavern (detail) 1826-27. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mared Foundation, 1969 (3583.1). (Pictured above)

John Singleton Copley, (American, 1738-1815) Nathaniel Allen, 1763. Oil on canvas, Purchase, Frank C. Atherton Memorial Fund, 1976 (4376.1).


Continue your museum experience back at school! Borrow artifacts related to your tour from the Lending Collection to use in the classroom. The Lending Collection is a free resource for island educators. Pre-packaged object trunks available for some tours, or hand pick objects from the collection for any tour. Contact Beth Pooloa,

Connecting to Standards

General Learner Outcomes
GLO #1: Self-directed Learner (The ability to be responsible for one's own learning)
GLO #2: Community Contributor (The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together)
GLO #3: Complex Thinker (The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving)
GLO #5: Effective Communicator (The ability to communicate effectively)

Fine Arts Standard 1-VISUAL ARTS: Understand and apply art materials, techniques, and processes in the creation of works of art and understand how the visual arts communicate a variety of ideas, feelings, and experiences.
• FA.5.1.5 Analyze works of art from selected historical periods
• FA.5.1.6 Compare works of art from various regions of the United States

CCRA.R.7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Writing Common Core Anchor Standard #4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Social Studies Standard 1: Historical Understanding- Understand change and/or continuity and cause and/or effect in history.
• SS.5.2.1 Analyze how beliefs and education and/or the society in which a person resides shape his/her "point of view"
• SS.5.2.2 Judge the past in the context of the time instead of imposing present norms and values on historical events
Standard 2: Historical Understanding- Use the tools and methods of inquiry, perspective, and empathy to explain historical events with multiple interpretations and judge the past on its own terms.
• SS.5.3.2 Examine the interactions between Europeans and Native Americans in North America
• SS.5.3.3 Describe the hardships experienced by European settlers in colonial America
• SS.5.3.4 Describe how religion and economics influenced the settling of New England and the southern regions of British North America
• SS.5.3.6  Explain how colonial America solved its labor shortage problem with indentured servants and African slaves
• SS.5.3.7 Illustrate the movement of African slaves to the Americas and their role in the Triangular Trade
• SS.5.3.8 Describe conflicts between Europeans and Native Americans (i.e., King Philip’s War), among colonists, (i.e., Bacon's Rebellion), and between European powers (i.e., the French and Indian War)
• SS.5.3.9 Describe the role of Puritans and Quakers in shaping colonial society
• SS.5.3.10 Explain how conflict between the English government and the English colonies led to the outbreak of the American Revolution
Standard 6: Cultural Anthropology- Understand culture as a system of beliefs, knowledge, and practices shared by a group and understand how cultural systems over time
• SS.5.6.1  Compare the views of Native Americans and Europeans regarding the relationship between humans and the land
Standard 8: Economics- Understand economic concepts and the characteristics of various economic systems
• SS.5.8.1 Explain the opportunity costs considered by the settlers before moving to the colonies

Return to guided school tours.