Education & History in the Classroom

Knox Museum is actively involved with many schools, everyone from local first through sixth grade social studies students, to visiting American History scholars from Bowdoin and Thomas Colleges, to Senior College, and participants of special history tours that arrive by ship and bus to tour Montpelier as part of their Revolutionary American history curricula.

Our doors are open for teachers, scholars, history buffs and everyone else interested in looking for greater insight into this time of great change in American history. If you are a teacher, feel free to take a look at our teaching tools or book a free tour for your classroom.

Teaching Tools

Knox Museum offers a variety of teaching tools and training to help teachers engage with their students.

Free Tours

School tours of the Knox Museum are offered for free by costumed docents to all school groups and are available by reservation for six weeks in the fall and six weeks in the spring. Call Knox Museum’s Collections Manager at (207) 354-0885 or email collections@knoxmuseum.org for more information.

Henry Knox Online Presentation

Knox Museum has put together a visually stunning online presentation that takes students through an easy to follow timeline of General Henry Knox’s life.

The Knox Box Program

Knox Boxes are self-contained teaching tools available for social studies teachers in grades 1 through 6 to check out from Knox Museum. Colonial Kids is geared toward 1st and 2nd graders; Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot for 3rd and 4th graders, and Guns for General Washington for 5th and 6th graders. Each box contains reading materials, games and activities for students, and 6 to 10 week lesson plans for teachers. If you are interested in the Knox Box, feel free to email us at info@knoxmuseum.org or call (207) 354-8062 for more information.

Lesson Plans

Click below for a sample 8-week lesson plan for 1st and 2nd graders studying about life in Colonial times. The plan includes essential questions and a structured field trip to the Knox Museum.

Summer Teacher Institute

In 2006, with funding from Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation, Knox Museum initiated a summer program for educators, the Summer Teacher Institute (STI).

The Institute’s mission is to:

  • educate school teachers about American history
  • create and sustain collaborations between historical organizations across the state and educators in Midcoast Maine
  • collaboratively develop place-based educational curricula and tools that meet Maine State Learning Results requirements and local assessments 

Over eight years, STI has attracted many notable instructors, including David McCullough, Woody Holton, Anthony Napoli and John Demos.  Through a myriad of classes and workshops, the Institute has helped more than one hundred participants produce original educational materials—from lesson plans to primary source research and research papers.

The Henry Knox Papers Database

The Henry Knox Papers Database is a unique project created under the auspices of Knox Museum’s Elias Adams and Lougee Family Library. Its goal is to make the papers of Henry Knox and his family, as well documents related to his businesses, more accessible to Knox scholars, genealogists, Maine historians, and students of American history.  A searchable index enables the Henry Knox Papers database to function as a shared, centralized research tool, making access to precise content of the Knox collections available not only at Montpelier, but at multiple historic and cultural institutions around the country.  This new database significantly enhances the research capabilities for studying Knox’s Maine business interests, as well as for identifying and providing some colorful background on many of the people and locations mentioned in the original Knox papers.  The library and database, generously supported by Mrs. Ellen C. L. Simmons and Family, are open to the public.  Research assistance is available at the library for all interested students, teachers, scholars, and history buffs. Feel free to contact us for more information.

“There was never a good war, or a bad peace”

-Benjamin Franklin

Contact Us for museum Group & School Tour Bookings

 The Center for the Study of Early American History

The Elias Adams & Lougee Family Library

On June 7, 2011, with support from Mrs. Ellen Simmons, and from her late husband, Mr. Matthew Simmons, Knox Museum opened the Elias Adams and Lougee Family Library at the Museum’s Center for the Study of Early American History, and unveiled its Henry Knox Papers Database. Materials in the library are available for independent public research and curriculum planning. The collection of books housed at the Center for the Study of Early American History has grown steadily in recent years to include many volumes recognized as pillars of American history, books penned by such esteemed past Museum speakers as Cokie Roberts, Brian Lamb, David McCullough, and Doris Buffett, along with titles specific to Henry Knox. for more information about the center and its library, feel free to contact us.

Image: From left to right: Day Cowperthwaite, Molly Kellogg, Ellen Simmons

“If we love our country—if we love the blessings of a society that welcomes free speech, freedom of religion, and, most important of all, freedom to think for ourselves—then surely we ought to know how it came to be. Who was responsible? What did they do? How much did they contribute? How much did they suffer?”

-David McCullough

Knox Reading Circle

In February of 2002, a group of nineteen men and women first met in Montpelier’s Oval Room to organize the Henry Knox Reading Circle.  Since then, the group has read and discussed over fifty books related to the Revolution, including “Declaration” by William Hogeland, “Presidential Courage” by Michael Beschloss, “Manifest Destinies” by Steven E. Woodworth, “John Paul Jones” by Evan Thomas, “Tories” by Thomas B. Allen, and “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, among others. The group primarily reads books about the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, but enjoys all American history.  Everyone is welcome to join the Knox Reading Circle, which meets on the second Monday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Cole House, next to Montpelier. Join us around the table and enjoy some lively discussions. For more information and how to join feel free to e-mail bmcnweb@gmail.com or call (207) 725-2480.

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