Grade Two Madison History Program

This program aligns with the goals of the content standards of the CT Grade Two Social Studies Framework, which states:

"Second-grade students will engage in the study of how people both past and present have made a difference in their community, country, and world as well as exploring how and what we decide to remember about the past. This interdisciplinary study incorporates history, civics, economics, and geography and requires that students generate and research compelling questions such as:

  • How can people make a difference in society?
  • How do both individuals and groups of people make a difference in our town, state, country, and world?
  • How and what do we decide to remember about the past?
  • How do things in the past connect to what happens today?"

Classes rotate through stations near or on the Madison green. Each stop at the learning stations lasts for approximately 30 minutes. The program begins at 9:30 and ends at noon.


Meet Mrs. Madison (James Madison Statue on the Madison Green)
A costumed re-enactor portraying former First Lady Dolley Madison talks to students about James Madison’s life as President of the United States. Included in her talk is the history of how the town of Madison, Connecticut, came to be named in her husband's honor. Mrs. Madison also tells the story of how the White House was burned during James Madison's administration, and she leads the students in a hands-on game of “bucket brigade” to demonstrate how fires were extinguished (or not!) during the nineteenth century. CIV. 2.7; GEO 2.6

Where Will George Washington Sleep? (First Congregational Church)
Where Will Washington Sleep? is a short play that takes place in a home in Madison when two goodwives learn that George Washington is traveling through town and needs a place to sleep for the night. Students learn about varied aspects of colonial cultural and social life. HIST. 2.4, 2.5; CIV. 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Colonial Schoolroom (First Congregational Church)
Students participate in activities related to a colonial child's school day. HIST. 2.4, 2.5; ECO. 2.3

Fun & Games at the Grave House (Deacon John Grave House)
Students participate in activities related to a colonial child’s play. GEO 2.6; HIST. 2.4, 2.5

Grade Four Madison History Program

This program aligns with the goals of the content standards of the CT Grade Four Social Studies Framework, which states: "In Grade Four, students engage in the study of United States geography as it relates to the regional cultural, economic, and political development of the United States. The study of geography requires that students generate and research compelling questions such as:

  • How does where we live affect how we live?
  • How and why do places change over time?
  • What characteristics make groups of people unique?
  • What role does climate play in people’s lives?
  • Is there an American national identity; what does it mean to be an American?
  • Why do people move from one region to another?"


Town Meeting
Meeting Room, Upper Level Memorial Town Hall
Students re-enact a town meeting debating the town’s request to house and educate refugees from Long Island in 1776. Costumed “selectmen” guide the students as they break into small groups to discuss how to solve the problems of the growing population and how they should respond to the needs of refugees. Groups later come together to vote as a town.

Colonial Life
Deacon John Grave House
A tour of the seventeenth-century Deacon John Grave House introduces students to life in the colonial period. Costumed interpreters lead the students through varied topics in rooms downstairs and upstairs.

Colonial Artifacts
First Congregational Church Hall
Students identify the purposes of varied colonial artifacts. They will examine household tools and implements to determine their use.

For Madison's fourth graders, the MHS aligns its program with Unit 1 (Historians Exploring the Past) and Unit 2 (Let Freedom Ring). In Unit 1's activities, students deepen their understanding of how peoples' choices and actions affect others and how a geographic location contributes to the way in which people live. In Unit 2's activities, students deepen their understanding of a citizen's ability to impact history.

Teacher / Chaperone Information

Should it rain, all activities will be held indoors at various locations on the green.

Access for children with disabilities can be arranged in advance.

Restrooms are available at Lee’s Academy and at the church. Students need to be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

Whether you arrive for your program on foot or by bus, please plan to meet our guides at 9:15 AM at the steps of the First Congregational Church. Parents and chaperones who arrive by car also meet the classes at the church steps. Parents and chaperones are expected to be free of child care and able to participate with the classes.

After a brief greeting, student groups and teachers and chaperones are directed to their first activity and will follow a guide to that location.

Teachers will receive a printed schedule with the times noted for each activity; please note that students move quickly between locations as the programs are planned using all of the allotted time.

Teachers and chaperones are expected to participate in all activities in each location and to share in the class discussions whenever appropriate.

Cellphone use should be limited to emergencies only and must be silenced as they can become a distraction to our activities.

Food and drink are not permitted during the activities.

Picnicking for lunch is permissible, weather permitting, on the town green. Arrangements will be in place for an indoor lunch in case of rain. Each teacher MUST pack his or her class’s bagged lunches in a large, sturdy plastic bag, clearly marked with the teacher’s name. Chaperones will place each class’s bagged lunches in the church hall through the double doors, in the space immediately outside the community room.

Please inform the MHS in advance if any student cannot be photographed.

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