NFLL Educational Programs

Education Programs at the National First Ladies Library and Historic Site

The National First Ladies’ Library and Historic site offers a number of educational experiences for students of all ages that connect to learning standards across the curriculum. Choose from an interactive tour of the Saxton-McKinley house or an engaging, hands-on program. The National First Ladies’ Library will help bring history to life for your students.

Tour Options

 

I Spy: A Pint Sized Tour of the Saxton-McKinley House

Look for patterns, shapes, and colors as you navigate your way through the Saxton-McKinley house with your pre-school students or playdate group. Hands-on activities will keep little hands busy as we play games, attend a pretend tea, and tuck in our baby dolls and teddy bears with a Victorian bedtime story.

Most Appropriate for Pre-K through 1st grade students

Admission: $5.00/student | $7.00/adult
Length: 30 minutes

Pre-K students are led through the house by an educator in groups of 12 with two chaperones per group. National First Ladies Library and Historic Site can accommodate no more than 50 students per day. A minimum of 12 students is required for an educator led tour.

 

First Families Are Families First: A Kid Sized Tour of the Saxton-McKinley House

What was it like to live in Canton during the Victorian era? Travel back in time to the mid-to-late 1800’s and explore what life was like for the kids growing up in the Saxton-McKinley house. What games did children play before there were videogames? What did they eat and where did they go to the bathroom? Students will play games, draw pictures, and experience music as they learn about Ida McKinley and her family and explore the home on this interactive tour. 

Most Appropriate for 2rd through 6th grade students

Admission: $5.00/student | $7.00/adult
Length: 90 minutes

Students are led through the house by an educator in groups of 12 with one chaperone per group. National First Ladies Library and Historic Site can accommodate no more than 50 students per day. A minimum of 12 students is required for an educator led tour.

 

Exploring Biography: An Ohio First Ladies’ House Tour

A recent study by Smithsonian magazine reported that U.S. state history standards mention one woman for every three men. Help balance out your curriculum as you dig into Ohio herstory with your students and explore the life of first lady and Canton, Ohio native Ida McKinley. Students will learn about Ida’s life as they engage with objects in the Saxton-McKinley house. The tour will conclude in the ballroom with an investigation of Ohio First Lady inspired artifacts. Students will explore hatboxes of artifacts and construct a basic biographical sketch of an Ohio first lady. Students will leave with the tools to begin their own biographical research on overlooked women in U.S. history.

Most Appropriate for 7th through 12th grade students

Admission: $5.00/student | $7.00/adult
Length: 90 minutes

Students are led through the house by an educator in groups of 12 with one chaperone per group. National First Ladies Library and Historic Site can accommodate no more than 50 students per day. A minimum of 12 students is required for an educator led tour.

 

School Programming Menu

School programs take place onsite at the National First Ladies Library and Historic Site or offsite at your school. School Programs are intended for a class size audience of 30 students or less. Program fee is $100.00 per class.  Inquire about scholarships for qualifying schools

 

Exploring Federal Lands and Waters

Sure you’ve heard of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but did you know that Ohio has eight National Park Service Sites and that the First Ladies Library and Historic Site is one of them? Working with educators and park rangers from the site, you’ll learn about the different park sites as you map them out and design your own park poster to earn your Junior Ranger credentials. In addition, participating fourth graders are eligible to earn an Every Kid in A Park Pass.

Most Appropriate for 3rd through 6th grade students

Fits OH Education Standards: 4th Grade Social Studies

Length: 1 hour

 

Fun, Fitness & the First Garden

Let’s move, shimmy and shake during Fun, Fitness and the First Garden. Students will learn all about healthy eating from our friendly veggie friends and the White House Chef. We’ll get moving to a Michelle Obama inspired dance party mix and create veggie prints. We’ll wrap things up with a fun planting activity that students will take home and start their very own White House Garden. 

Most Appropriate for Pre-K through 3rd grade students

Fits OH Education Standards: K-3rd Grade Health

Length: 1 hour

 

 

White House Pets

We all know about the many cats and dogs that have called the White House home, but have you heard of Rebecca the Raccoon? Find out about the wild menagerie of animals that have roosted at the White House as we read “A Raccoon at the White House” and create an interactive puppet show with our extensive collection of pet puppets. Students will have a chance to dig into White House dog sensory bins and posit what kind of pet our current first kid should get with a Doctor Seuss inspired felt board activity.

Most Appropriate for Pre-K and Kindergarten students

Fits OH Education Standards: K-3rd Grade Language Arts

Length: 1 hour

 

Ohio First Ladies Hat Box

Seven First Ladies called Ohio home between 1841 and 1923. Each of these women was unique for their time and helped advance the role and expectations of the First Ladies. In this interactive program, students will learn more about these seven women and what life was like in Ohio for women during the times they lived. Students will dig into a hatbox of props that represents each woman, sleuthing who the items belong to. They’ll also design newspaper headlines for them, experiment with roleplay, and challenge each other to First Lady inspired games.

Most Appropriate for 4th through 8th grade students

Fits OH Education Standards: 4th Grade Social Studies

Length: 1 hour

 

Lady Bird’s Wildflowers

Lady Bird Johnson was passionate about conserving our natural resources, protecting our wildlife and beautifying America through her work on the passage of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. Lady Bird’s efforts began before any significant legislation was passed to conserve our planet. Students will learn about Lady Bird’s most significant feat – cleaning up America’s highways and planting wildflowers to beautify the scenery. Students will also participate in a planting activity they can take home to beautify their own neighborhoods.

Most Appropriate for 2nd through 5th grade students

Fits OH Education 2nd – 4th Grade Science Standards

Length: 1 hour

 

 

Vote Like A Girl: Suffrage and Citizenship in the 21st Century

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. In this session students will learn about a few of the bold and brave figures who helped earn women voting rights and Ohio’s role in the story of women’s suffrage. In addition, students will exercise their own voting power and learn how to be informed and engaged citizens. The lesson will conclude with the students creating their own contemporary, suffrage inspired banner. 

Most Appropriate for 5th through 8th grade students

Fits OH Education Social Studies standards

Length: 1 hour

 

Portraits for the People: First Ladies on Canvas

Amy Sherald’s stunning portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery recently put first lady portraits on the map, but first ladies have been striking a pose for artists as far back as Martha Washington and Dolley Madison. In this workshop, students will examine portraits of first ladies throughout history, learning to read an artwork as a historical document. Through visual clues, students will understand the traditional and non-traditional roles of first ladies and how the first ladies played a significant role in shaping the political and social history of the United States. In addition, each student will interview a peer to create and execute a portrait that reflects their partner’s personality and style.

Most Appropriate for 6th through 8th grade students

Fits OH Education Visual Arts Standards

Length: 1 hour

Dear John, Dear Abigail: Unlocking History through First Ladies’ Letters

Before there were texts and e-mails, letters were a major form of communication. From Ida McKinley’s letter’s home to family during her grand tour of Europe to Lucrecia Garfield’s letter demanding pay equity for a female doctor who treated her husband, The National First Ladies Library collection contains many historical documents and letters that help bring these women to life. During this session students will examine first lady letters, learning how historians and researchers use primary source documents. They’ll learn where to find written and visual primary sources and how to analyze them.

Most Appropriate for 9th through 12h grade students

Fits OH Education Social Studies and Language Arts Standards

Length: 1 hour

Offsite at your school | Onsite at First Ladies National Historic Site

Available Spring 2020

 

On the Road with the First Ladies

Grab a suitcase and hit the road with the first ladies. In this program, the contemporary equivalent of the Ohio First Ladies Hatbox program, we’ll examine some of the most travelled modern first ladies as we crack open their train cases and Pan-Am bags to examine clues about their most famous visits and accomplishments. Learn about Hillary Clinton’s famous speech in Beijing, Pat Nixon’s hurricane aid in Peru, and Jackie Kennedy’s Mona Lisa loan in Paris in this hands-on, history minded, virtual road trip experience.

Most Appropriate for 9th through 12h grade students

Fits OH Education Social Studies Standards

Length: 1 hour

Available Spring 2020

 

 

Red Dress Diplomacy: First Ladies of Fashion

From Barbara Bush’s pearls to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits, first ladies are fashion trendsetters, but do their wardrobe choices signal more than meets the eye? We’ll examine the modern first ladies and discuss how color, silhouette, style, and even designers and brands help make political statements and push presidential agendas. After analyzing first lady fashions, students will be challenged to design an inaugural ensemble for a potential male first spouse. What will his wardrobe say about the way he’ll approach his new position and the duties he’ll choose to take on as first spouse?

Most Appropriate for 9th through 12h grade students

Fits OH Education Visual Arts and Social Studies Standards

Length: 1 hour

Offsite at your school | Onsite at First Ladies National Historic Site

Available Spring 2020