Education Programs

At The Charleston Museum, children can examine fossils, try on colonial clothing, explore historic artifacts ranging from Native American life to the Civil War, go on a scavenger hunt, and have fun while they learn. The Museum is a great way to introduce your family or students to the amazing cultural and natural history of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Each month the Museum offers many exciting program for children and families as well as educational programs for students. Come see everything the Museum has to offer.

  • Explorations
  • Classes
  • Historic Houses
  • Dill Sanctuary
  • Package Programs
  • To Go
  • How to Schedule a Visit

Explorations

A Museum tour is not included with a Museum class. If you would like a Museum tour please check Self-Guided Museum Tour on your reservation form. We also offer scavenger hunts and guided tours.

General Scavenger Hunt, Grades 2-12

This exploration includes questions for each of our permanent exhibit galleries. Click here for printable version.

Museum Matchmakers, Grades Preschool-3

Matchmakers feature 10 images for children to find throughout the Museum. Click here for printable version.

Students should be divided into groups determined by the number of chaperones/teachers that are available. One chaperone per every ten students is preferred.

A Museum teacher will provide instructions and supplies upon the group's arrival. Each group will receive a clipboard, a pencil, one scavenger hunt, and one answer sheet. Scavenger hunts can be emailed to the teacher in advance so that they can make their own copies. Please allow at least an hour and a half for your group to complete the general scavenger hunt.

Guided Tours

All guided tours are $8 per student and last approximately 1 hour. If you are interested in a curator-led tour of a specific gallery please call the Education Department for pricing.

Lowcountry Safari, Grades 1-3

Decorate a safari hat and then set out on a journey through our Natural History Hall. Peek through binoculars as you learn fascinating facts about local creatures, prehistoric specimens, and even exotic animals. This program last one hour and includes craft time and a guided tour. Each child will get to take home their own safari hat and set of paper binoculars.

South Carolina Notables, Grades 3-8

Travel through the Museum learning about the events, people, and animals that have made the Palmetto State so fascinating. This guided tour is perfect for South Carolina Studies classes and includes information on Native Americans, life on Lowcountry plantations, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, special exhibit galleries, and even state symbols. Students will get a chance to handle artifacts, replicas, and animal mounts as they journey through The Charleston Museum. Maximum group size is 30 students. Students will be divided into groups of 15. Special arrangements can be made for larger groups.

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.

Classes

A Museum tour is not included with a Museum class. If you would like a Museum tour please check Self-Guided Museum Tour on your reservation form. We also offer scavenger hunts and guided tours.

Bug Bonanza, Grades Preschool-3

Learn the characteristics of insects by examining a variety of these fascinating creatures. Students will inspect insect parts through a microscope, create bug rubbings, and more. (Check the Dill Sanctuary page for a variation on this class.)

Oceans in Motion, Grades: Preschool-3

Do you realize that the shells you pick up at the beach were once living creatures? Through hands-on investigations of our preserved marine life collection students learn about univalves, bivalves, echinoderms, and more. This Museum experience also includes a marine life rubbings activity.

Animals A-Z, Grades Preschool-3

Fins, feathers, and fur - what different kinds of coats do animals wear? Explore the animal kingdom through animal mounts and jarred specimens. Students compare and contrast the animals to understand the different classifications of vertebrates - mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish.

Prehistoric Animals, Grades 1-5

Visit the world of the giant ground sloth, saber tooth cat, and the dinosaur. By handling fossils, replicas, and images, students gain an understanding of what life was like before, during, and after the reign of the dinosaur. By adding on a self-guided tour to this program, students can see up close our dinosaur skeleton, dinosaur tracks, and other prehistoric specimens.

Feathered Friends, Grades Preschool-6

Feathers are a characteristic unique to birds. Investigate the skeletal structures of birds to understand how they adapted to their habitats. Students will handle feathers, wings, nests, and eggs to better understand and appreciate these beautiful animals.

Tribal Life and Customs, Grades 1-5

Explore the lives of South Carolina's earliest inhabitants by examining the daily activities of Native American men, women, and children. Learn their methods of survival by handling animal skins, pottery, arrowheads, and primitive tools. The class concludes with an interactive story using animal mounts and sign language.

Tomb Travelers, Grades 3-8

Travel back to Ancient Egypt to learn about the daily life along the Nile River. Discover the steps of the mummification process, handle ancient artifacts, and dress like an Egyptian. By adding a Self-guided Museum Tour students can see an Egyptian mummy, mummy case, and other Egyptian items in our collection.

Revolutionary Charleston, Grades 3-8

Understand the role of Charleston and South Carolina during the American Revolution. Hear tales of the Battle of Fort Sullivan, the Siege of Charleston, and the legendary Swamp Fox. Learn about the reality of the war for soldiers and civilians through a hands-on tent activity, dressing up in period clothing, replica artifacts and much more.

Life in the Civil War, Grades 3-8

Experience the day-to-day life of civilians and soldiers from the Civil War. Students will pack a soldier's haversack, dress up in period clothing, write with a quill pen, and card cotton.

Gullah Traditions, Grades 3-12

Contributions by African Americans have made a significant impact on the Lowcountry. Students will use artifacts, documents, and replicas to understand the African American experience from their lives in Western Africa to the plantations of South Carolina to life after the Civil War.

Amazing Architecture, Grades 3-12

Begin this architectural adventure by learning about five different styles of architecture visible in Charleston today- Georgian, Federal, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, and International. Students will learn about basic architectural features and terms to prepare themselves for a scavenger hunt through the Mazyck-Wraggborough district surrounding the Museum. Amazing Architecture is a great addition to any Charleston History program. Approximate time - 1 hour.

From Slave to Sharecropper: African Americans in the Lowcountry after the Civil War

This original Charleston Museum exhibition is based upon the recollections and memories of Lowcountry descendants of slaves and sharecroppers. The exhibit includes artifacts and images related to the African American experience in the Lowcountry after the Civil War and into the 20th century. Using artifacts, documents, and replicas students will understand the African American experience from their lives in Western Africa to life after the Civil War.

Everybody Did Something: Charleston Remembers World War II

Investigate World War II through the eyes of men, women, and children on the home front. Through letters, photographs, artifacts, and replicas learn about the events of the war and how everyone did their part during this difficult time in American history. Program includes mini-exhibit based on our past exhibition "Everybody Did Something: Charleston Remembers World War II".

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.

Historic Houses

Step Into The Past, Grades 3-12

Step back into the lifestyles of early Charlestonians. Students visit the Museum's historic houses to compare and contrast old Charleston with today. The general tour for each house includes site history, architecture, decorative arts, and family and slave life. Focus tours of the houses are also available (see below). Maximum group size is 40 students. Students will be divided into groups of 20. Special arrangements can be made for larger groups.

Joseph Manigault House Tour, 1803

A National Historic Landmark
350 Meeting Street

Located just across the street from the Museum, the site of this Federal style home was once the residence of a wealthy rice planter, a USO post, tenement housing, a dry cleaner, and even a gas station. Explore the varied history of this beautiful three-story brick house built for the Manigault family. The Manigault family came to Charleston from France escaping religious persecution to eventually become a successful rice-planting family. Learn about their daily lives and the lives of their African American slaves. Choose between the general tour, architectural focus, World War II, or African American history tour.

Heyward-Washington House Tour, 1772

A National Historic Landmark
87 Church Street

Step back in time to Charleston's golden age in the only Pre-Revolutionary War House open to the public in the city. Located within the original walled city, this 1772 Charleston double house was owned by Thomas Heyward, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The home is famous for housing President George Washington during his southern tour in May 1791. The Georgian Style architecture and furniture crafted by local Charleston cabinetmakers make this house truly unique. Students will also get the chance to explore the gardens and work yard, as well as the only colonial kitchen building open to the public. Choose between the general tour, an architectural focus, Revolutionary War, or African American history tour.

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.

Dill Sanctuary

Located on James Island, the Museum's Dill Sanctuary is a 580-acre site that has been protected for the purposes of preservation, wildlife enhancement, research, and education. The Dill Sanctuary contains three Confederate batteries and prehistoric, colonial, antebellum, and postbellum archaeological sites. Many Museum classes can be taken to the Dill Sanctuary to be combined with any of the following programs. All program listed below are approximately one hour.

Marsh Walk, Grades 1-6

Enjoy the great outdoors with a walk into the maritime forest and marsh of the Dill Sanctuary. Students will learn about the many plants and animals that flourish in the salt marsh, such as fiddler crabs, periwinkles, spartina grass, needle rush, herons, and osprey. Students will get a chance to observe fiddler crabs up close through use of the Museum's bug boxes.

Bug Bonanza, Grades Preschool-3

Experience our popular bug class at the Dill Sanctuary. Enjoy a chance to catch bugs and observe them up close. The Museum will provide bug collectors and bug grabbers for the program, but all containers and bugs must remain at the Dill Sanctuary.

Charleston's Hidden History, Grades 3-12

The visitor will find no great plantation house or gun-embellished fort at the Dill Sanctuary today. The history is literally hidden. Students will use maps, artifacts, census records, and oral history to uncover this hidden history. As you walk through the property learn of the Native Americans, Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers, Plantation owners and their slaves, and tenant farmers that have made the Dill Sanctuary their home.

Yesterday's Trash (Archaeology), Grades 3-8

Become an archaeologist for the day! Examine potsherds, glassware, bone, and metal to unlock the secrets of Charleston's past. This program will cover different types of archaeology as well as the methods involved. Students will get a chance to lay out their unit, dig and screen for artifacts, and wash and identify their artifacts. Maximum group size is 15 students. This program can be combined with others to accommodate larger groups. Special pricing - $7.00 per student.

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.

Package Programs

Follow in the footsteps of George Washington, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Christopher Gadsden and others as you immerse yourself in Colonial Charleston. Choose from any of the three programs to experience daily life during the Revolutionary War. All programs are geared for grades 3 - 12.

Pioneers, Pirates, and Patriots

The Powder Magazine, Heyward-Washington House, and Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

Start at the Old Exchange, exploring the British provost (dungeon) where American Patriots were kept during the Revolution. Learn about the Charleston Tea Party, George Washington's visit, and see where South Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution. Next, your group will engage in a colonial/American Revolution themed scavenger hunt through Charleston's historic district discovering locations and objects relevant to the early history of this city, state, and nation. Along the hunt, students will experience a tour of the Heyward-Washington House where they will learn of Declaration of Independence signer Thomas Heyward Jr.'s role during the Revolution, as well as the stories of other patriots such as Christopher Gadsden and Francis Marion. The scavenger hunt continues to the Carolinas' oldest public building, The Powder Magazine. With the help of a colonial costumed interpreter, students will learn of "Charles Towne's" earliest geography and inhabitants and why this colonial town's powder magazine was an essential part of its survival.

Time: 3 hours. Fee: $12 per student, $6 per adult, teachers are free. Minimum 10 students, maximum 80 students.

Colonial Quest: Exploring Colonial and Revolutionary Charleston

The Powder Magazine and Heyward-Washington House

A variation of the Pioneers, Pirates, and Patriots program minus the Old Exchange and Dungeon. Time: 2 hours. Fee: $8 per student, $4 per adult, teachers are free. Minimum 10 students, maximum of 80 students.

Redcoats and Revolutionaries

The Powder Magazine, Heyward-Washington House, and Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

It's 1781 and Charleston is under British Occupation. Your secret mission begins with fellow Patriot soldiers at the Old Exchange building. See where prisoners are being held by the British in the dungeon and learn the minuet in the Great Hall. Journey to the Heyward house where Mrs. Heyward will tell you the daily life of her household and how difficult life has been in Charleston while her husband has been imprisoned. Finally prepare for battle at the Powder Magazine. Learn how to fire a cannon and shoot your musket.

Time: 2.5 hours. Fee: $15 per student, $7.50 per adult, teachers are free. Minimum 12 students, maximum of 120 students.

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.

To Go

Many of our classes can be brought to your school. Fees are $4 per student per program with a minimum of 20 students (or a minimum of $80). A mileage fee will be added to the price (mileage fee is based on the current federal mileage rate). If you would like the program brought to your school please check the To-Go box on the reservation form or make a comment on your online reservation.

The Charleston Museum also offers programs designed for after-school care at your facility. There are five series currently available. Each one is made up of six one hour programs. Each program includes a lesson and at least two craft activities. These programs can be booked as: one-hour sessions taught successively in five days, one-hour sessions taught once a week for six weeks, or as individual one-hour classes. Cost is $5 per student per program with a minimum of 25 students. These programs can be held for fewer students, however the minimum amount of $125 will still be charged as this fee covers transportation, supplies, and staff time.

Anthology of Ologys

Topics include Paleontology (Dinosaurs), Entomology (Bugs), Ornithology (Birds), Archaeology, Marine Biology, and Geology.

Around the World

Topics include Jolly Old England, Australian Outback, Mexican Fiesta, African Safari, Day with the Dutch, and Hawaiian Luau.

Time Travelers

Topics include Ancient Egypt, Greek Games, Mayan Mysteries, Japanese Journey, Medieval Manors, and Italian Renaissance.

Exploring Early Charleston

Topics include Native American Know-How, Historic Crafts, School Days, Pirates, Fun and Games, and Revolutionary Charleston.

Historic Crafts

Topics include Pottery, Building Arts, Fabric Arts, Home Crafts, and Toy Making.

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.

How To Schedule A Visit

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through our store (HERE) or fill out this form (HERE) and return it by mail, fax, or email to the Education Department.

  • Reservations are taken on a first come-first serve basis, so please try to make reservations at least two weeks in advance.
  • Please indicate if your group has special needs.
  • The reservation process is not complete until you receive a confirmation form.
  • Please collect all money in advance, to be paid at the time of your visit. The Museum will accept cash, check, MasterCard or Visa. Make checks payable to The Charleston Museum.
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your program to allow time for check-in and restroom breaks.
  • Written cancellation is required. Groups not canceling in writing at least 10 days prior to the visit will be charged 20% of total due.
  • Please contact the Museum Education Department (843-722-2996 ext. 264 or rhester@charlestonmuseum.org) at least 5 calendar days prior to your visit to confirm the total number in your party and the programs being conducted. Your final amount due will be based on this information. If a guaranteed count is not received, the amount shown on your confirmation will be the minimum charged.
  • Late arrival can result in canceling or shortening of your program subject to Museum teacher availability. However, the amount shown on confirmation form will still be due.

For questions about education programs and available dates please contact.

Stephanie Thomas, Education Coordinator
(843) 722-2996 ext. 236
sthomas@charlestonmuseum.org
Ryn Hester, Education Assistant
(843) 722-2996 ext. 264
rhester@charlestonmuseum.org

Admission Fees for registered groups Group rates are based on 12 or more students. Minimum group fees apply if group brings less than 12 students.

  • 1 program or tour $4.00 per participant
  • 2 programs or tours $8.00 per participant
  • 3 programs or tours $12.00 per participant
  • 4 programs or tours $16.00 per participant
  • All teachers are admitted at no charge.

Chaperones are $4.00 for a program including a Museum, Dill Sanctuary, or Historic house visit. If chaperone is only attending a program in the Museum classroom they are admitted at no charge.

Register

Download a PDF version of our Educational Program Guide

Download

Schedule a Museum visit Today!

Reservations must be made in writing. We cannot book dates and times over the phone. Register online through this form.