Visit our museums with your students and open a door to Rhode Island’s extraordinary history!
We offer a wide range of school tours, which are described below, listed by RIHS location. The Field Trip Free for All Program offers all standard, museum-based, educational programs at no cost for teacher-supervised visits. Our programs are led by staff and docents. We also offer funding towards busing for Title 1-designated schools thanks to the Klyberg Fund for Educational Access. Applications can be downloaded here.
We welcome teachers to contact us to arrange a tour by calling us or emailing us, along with submitting our Inquiry Form.
Can’t come to us? We also offer a variety of virtual school programming including live virtual visits with a museum educator! Please visit our Virtual Tours and Resources page for more information.
Our School Tours
John Brown House Museum
School programs at the John Brown House can be customized for your students based on content and grade level. Possible topics include life in early America; the American Revolution; the city of Providence; the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; the Gaspee Affair; and Rhode Island in the world. Click here for scheduling and location information. Back to top.
Travel through time at the John Brown House Museum with a guided discussion and tour through our historic space.
Recommended GradesBest for High School & College Students
This program illustrates these connections through a hands-on activity called the “Web of Complicity” that shows the relationships that stretched from the city to the sea in the global enterprise of the slave trade.
Recommended GradesBest for 4th-8th Grade Level Learners
Step through time into the colonial period at the John Brown House Museum and learn about life in 18th-century Providence. This program uses stations inside the house to offer interactive and experiential learning with sensory objects, discussion, and object analysis.
Recommended GradesBest for 3rd-6th Grade Level Learners
Step back in time and explore the streets of Providence through the lens of Avi’s Something Upstairs.
Recommended GradesBest for 4th-7th Grade Level Learners
Duration75 minutes, covers one mile
We create hands-on opportunities throughout the museum for young learners through colonial toys and games, clothing, sensory objects, and story time opportunities. Contact us to customize this program for your classes.
Recommended GradesBest for K-2nd Grade Level Learners
An in-person classroom experience where RIHS educators will lead students in a close-looking activity with historic object reproductions and a close reading of narratives from individuals who experienced enslavement and its legacies.
Recommended GradesBest for 4th & 5th Grade Level Learners
Duration45 minutes - 1 hour
Museum of Work & Culture
Dedicated to sharing the stories of those who came to find a better life in Rhode Island’s mill towns, the Museum of Work & Culture’s exhibits provide an immersive look into the past. Exhibits include a nineteenth-century farmhouse, the floor of a textile mill, the parlor of a triple-decker home, a parochial school classroom, and a union hall. Click here for scheduling and location information. Back to top.
Students are led through the museum by one of our trained docents. Docent guided tours are also available in French and Spanish upon request.
This offshoot of our traditional tour narrows the focus of the visit to the history of immigration in Rhode Island. Students will learn about push and pull factors, discover which immigrant groups came to this area and why, and about the changes and difficulties they faced. Our trained docents engage students’ imaginations with stories & anecdotes while encouraging critical thinking skills by asking leading questions that connect information learned on the tour & in the classroom.
This offshoot of our traditional tour narrows the focus of the visit to the history and impacts of labor, unions, and the labor movement in the Blackstone Valley. Our trained docents engage students’ imaginations with stories & anecdotes while encouraging critical thinking skills by asking leading questions that connect information learned on the tour & in the classroom.
Students will get a hands-on understanding of history by participating as competing companies in an assembly line.
Students will take on the role of a historian as they sort through the belongings of immigrant families.
DurationAdditional 30 minutes
Guides bring the classroom outdoors, tracing the history of the Blackstone River, water power, and ecology.