New program! Now the Royall House and Slave Quarters museum can visit your school!
The Royall House and Slave Quarters has a longstanding commitment to education. We currently serve more than 800 young visitors annually through tours of the buildings and grounds. We welcome public and private school groups, homeschoolers, scouts, and after-school and summer youth programs. In 2013, with funding from Mass Humanities, we created an innovative on-site educational program for 5th grade students. With ongoing support from Cummings Foundation, this program focuses on northern colonial slavery, the economics of the slave trade, and the lives of enslaved Africans in the Massachusetts colony.
Belinda’s Footsteps: Sugar, Slavery and Survival
Who was Belinda and how did she come to live on a plantation in colonial Massachusetts? Follow her footsteps from her West African homeland to Ten Hills Farm in Medford where she spent more than fifty years enslaved to wealthy Isaac Royall and his family. Learn the roles sugar and the triangle trade played in her journey. This engaging school program introduces students to slavery in colonial New England with an interactive activity on the triangle trade and its effect on products, people, and purses. Using symbols to gain a greater understanding of how identity is shaped and formed, students learn how people like Belinda survived and retained their identities as Africans through lifelong enslavement. This program meets Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and Common Core standards and complements Parallel Lives, an on-site program at the Royall House and Slave Quarters, offered April through November. This 60 to 75 minute program is designed for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. 30 students maximum per session.
Belinda’s Footsteps Program Cost
Parallel Lives: Life and Work on a Northern Plantation
Explore daily life in 1758 from the differing perspectives of Mary and Elizabeth Royall and enslaved Joseph and Prine. Themes of work and wealth on the large country estate of Ten Hills Farm are explored using archeology and household objects. Parallel Lives includes a tour of the house and grounds, artifact exploration, and game making. Educational resources include household items, artifacts unearthed on site, and a rich collection of relevant primary source documents. Students gain an understanding of the contributions of enslaved Africans to the development of colonial Massachusetts and an introduction to the complex issues of race and identity, slavery and freedom. Teachers receive the following teaching materials prior to their visits: curriculum frameworks for Parallel Lives; background reading and additional resources for teachers; pre- and post-visit materials for teachers, and a list of children’s books on enslavement in the North. The two-hour program is designed for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. Maximum 50 students. 30-day advance reservations are required.
Parallel Lives Program Cost
Up to 14 students: $100
15 – 29 students: $175
30 – 45 students: $275
46 – 50 students: $6 for each additional student
Teachers and aides are free, along with 1 chaperone for every 12 students. Additional adults are $7 each.
Low-Income School Districts
A limited number of admission fee reductions are available to ensure that students from low-income school districts have access to these programs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thanks to the generosity of Cummings Foundation, transportation subsidies are available to ensure that students from low-income school districts have access to this important piece of American history. Please email email@example.com for more information.
To Make a Reservation, Schedule a School Program, or to Obtain More Information
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: – School name/ City or town – Teacher name(s) – Email and phone – Number of students – Belinda’s Footsteps (at your school) or Parallel Lives (at the Royall House and Slave Quarters)- Number of chaperones for Parallel Lives – Requested date(s) – Requested time (a 2-hour visit in AM or PM for Parallel Lives)
If neither Belinda’s Footsteps nor Parallel Lives meets the needs of your class, we offer school tours for students of all ages. Please email email@example.com for more information.