Waltham Third-grade School Program
Every third-grade student in the Waltham Public School system visits Stonehurst each year for a fun and educational field trip. The longstanding and popular third-grade field trips introduce students to both science and local history through observation of primary resource documents and artifacts.
Before visiting, students learn about the site through the words, artifacts and photos of children who once lived at Stonehurst, George and Lily Paine. They read A Home in the Woods: Stonehurst, an illustrated booklet developed specifically for this program, and then they match photos, quotes and artifacts "left behind" in a trunk by the Paine children of long ago to create an exhibit.
Once here, third-graders walk in the footsteps of the outdoorsy Paine children, exploring the house where they lived and the forests, fields, rocks and hills where they played. They break into six groups and rotate through six activity stations--inside and outside--where they solve riddles through observation, participate in a 19th-century leaf printing activity, study life cycles within a vernal pool, and learn about past technologies, seasonal rhythms, etc.
In this fun, immersive program, children bond with a rich historical, cultural and natural treasure within their own community.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Waltham Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.