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Education Programs

Digital Education 

Our award-winning exhibit on slavery in New Jersey, Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall, is now the focus of two NJ curriculum-based digital companions, complete with applicable standards. Our Colonial education page for Upper Elementary students will be launched in fall of 2024!

Click the images below to access the resources

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September 2024

Colonial Education

This elementary level resource focuses on life in the Colonial Era through the various historical figures who lived in and visited the historic Covenhoven House in Freehold. Students will learn about various facets of daily life, as well as the choices our local ancestors were faced with during the American Revolution. 

Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall

Using primary sources and artifacts from the MCHA collections and material culture from the historic c. 1756 Marlpit Hall in Middletown, this exhibit tells the stories of seven of the 12 known enslaved individuals who inhabited this residence. The larger story of slavery in New Jersey is also explored through careful research and documentation. 

*The Marlpit resource is currently available for laptop/PC viewing only

Upper Elementary Level 

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Middle School / High School

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Monmouth County Education Page

This intermediate/high school resource focuses on archival material and museum objects from the collections of MCHA and beyond to help illustrate the rich history of Monmouth County, New Jersey! Colonial era documents, WWII artifacts and ephemera, newspaper articles, and other unique objects help students connect American history to local history.  

In addition to curriculum-based content, educators and students will find unique and interesting topics to explore. Please contact dhowell@monmouthhistory.org for questions or suggestions!

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        Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth by Emanuele Leutze

MCHA Collection

On-Site Education:

Covenhoven House

150 W. Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728

Grades 3-12

$10 per student for a 75-minute program

*Combination trip with Monmouth Battlefield available!

COMING FALL OF 2024! Book early to secure your date!

This beautiful 1752 historic house museum offers students a window into the Colonial era. Situated on what was known as the Burlington Path, Elizabeth Covenhoven's stately residence was used by General Clinton as the British headquarters in the days before the Battle of Monmouth. Our new exhibit, Choices, will explore the options our various forebears were faced with during the American Revolution. Would you side with the Patriots or Loyalists? Stay to defend your home, or flee to safety? For the enslaved, the British promised freedom if they fought for the crown...but could this promise be trusted? 

Students will tour the house and learn about life in the Colonial era through the various historical figures who lived in and visited this home. 

For an extended trip, pair Covenhoven House with Monmouth Battlefield, the next stop for the British where they clashed with the Continental Army at the Battle of Monmouth.  

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Marlpit Hall

137 Kings Hwy, Middletown, NJ 07748

Program is tailored for attending grade band (click here for pdf)

$10 per student grades 3-12 (90-minute program)

Combination trips with the historic Murray Farmhouse at Poricy Park or the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center are also available!

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Freehold High School students, 2022

This c. 1762 house features our award-winning exhibit, Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall. Students Grades 3-6* tour the historic house museum to learn about slavery in New Jersey through the lens of those who were once enslaved at the residence. The personal stories of these individuals are explored, reconstructed through primary sources such as birth records and freedom papers. Students are given the opportunity to investigate the process of creating historically accurate stories using primary sources; they leave the exhibit with a solid understanding of the institution of slavery in New Jersey, and the skills needed to think like historians. 

Students grades 7-12** are engaged in an in-depth Primary Source Workshop after the guided museum tour to learn about the processes involved in analyzing documents such as birth records, inventories, freedom papers, as well as "for sale" and runaway ads. What can these sources tell us, what questions do they leave us with, and how can we use our understanding of history to develop possible theories? Students leave with the skills to conduct responsible analysis and interpretation of historic documents, and a solid background on the components of slavery in New Jersey. 

*For a longer program for grades 3-6, pair Marlpit Hall with the historic Murray Farmhouse at Poricy Park! Students will gain a fuller understanding of the Colonial era in this dual program. Murray Farmhouse visitors will learn about Patriots and Loyalists in Monmouth County, as well as have a chance for hands-on activities such as churning butter and grinding spices.

**Grades 7-12 can pair Marlpit Hall with a trip to the historic T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in nearby Red Bank. This dual program is an excellent segue from slavery to an emphasis on the many successes of Black men and women post-1865.

Recent Testimonial

Saint John Vianney High School History Club recently visited Marlpit Hall in Middletown. This 18th-century farmhouse holds layers of history regarding slavery in Monmouth County. Thanks to the Monmouth County Historical Association, our guided tour delved into the lives of the seven slaves who once called this place home. From their daily routines to the broader narrative of slavery in Monmouth County, every detail was thoughtfully explored. The interactive workshop afterward was equally enlightening, as students engaged with primary sources, including descriptive want ads offering rewards for runaway slaves. The tour was a powerful learning experience. For fellow educators seeking impactful experiences for their students, I can't recommend this tour enough. The insights gained at Marlpit Hall are invaluable for understanding our shared history. I'm already planning future visits with the MCHA and eagerly anticipating the opportunity to incorporate their educational web resources into my early American history lessons. It's a journey worth taking, enriching both educators and students alike.    Kenneth Brumbaugh Social Studies Teacher/Saint John Vianney High School Early College Academy, Adjunct Professor/Brookdale Community College

Hybrid Virtual Programs!

Marlpit Hall comes directly to your classroom with MCHA's hybrid virtual class trip, bringing your students the best of both worlds! This webinar package includes:

 

- A video tour of Marlpit Hall, learning directly from the curators who built the exhibit. A professional educator will then   

  be available after the presentation for a live Q&A, to answer any questions the students might have.

- Grades 7-12 will also be guided through the Primary Source Workshop, in which the skills to critically analyze historical   

   primary source documents are developed.

- All grades receive professional lesson plans and activities based on the exhibit material

- Students are encouraged to explore the free digital education pages above as a pre-or-post trip activity. 

- MCHA educators are always available by email to any questions that teachers or students may have, so feel free to reach out!

Professional Development

MCHA offers free professional development training for all grade levels. Our PD program is given by professionals in the field, and presents educators with a two-fold approach to understanding the topic on an in-depth level. First, educators experience a curator-led tour of the exhibit, where they gain the background necessary to bolster their confidence level in the subject matter. They then take part in a Primary Source Workshop in which they learn how to analyze documents from the era to extract information in the most useful way, applying curriculum standards into guided classroom discussion. They are prepared with the most commonly asked questions from students, and provided answers according to top scholars in the field. This workshop can be applied in the classroom as well via the digital companion to the exhibit, and has been found useful by ELA educators as well. The program runs approximately 2 hours long.

 

The Elizabeth Van Cleaf Institute is a multi-day workshop that runs during the summer and is by application only. Click here to learn more!

Want to book a trip or PD training? Have questions? Suggestions? Compliments (yes, please!)???

Contact Dana at dhowell@monmouthhistory.org

Thank you to our advisors and supporters on the Beneath the Floorboards digital programs:

Hank Bitten, Executive Director, New Jersey Council for the Social Studies

Dr. Wendy Morales, Assistant Superintendent, Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission

Dr. Jason Fitzgerald, Dr. Rich Veit and Dr. Bill George, Monmouth University

Noelle Lorraine Williams, Director of African American Education at the New Jersey Historical Commission

The New Jersey School Boards Association

The New Jersey Center for Civic Education

Many Thanks to Our Education Sponsors and Supporters

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Larry & Paula Metz
Sam & Laurie Landy
Bill Mehr
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