The following pages contain curricula designed by the Westport Historical Society Education Department for Westport Elementary School third grade Social Studies teachers. They are intended to mirror the chapters from the approved third grade social studies schoolbook, “Massachusetts, Our Home” from a local Town of Westport standpoint in a fun, relevant and engaging way for students and teachers. Data sheets and assignments have been designed for individual printing for use in the classroom.
While primarily for use in teaching the Social Studies curriculum, a Whole Language approach has been taken in preparing these lessons. This provides an exciting opportunity to engage across disciplines and ages to continuously reinforce the deep and expansive history of Westport, Massachusetts.
These tiered multi-day curricula also employ Site Specific Education through pre-lessons, a local field trip for in-class or as a family homework assignment, and follow-up post-lessons. Resources are provided along with specific day-to-day class assignments to help students explore these various topics in a thoughtfully layered and hands-on way. We encourage teachers to use the entire teaching unit exactly as it has been designed, but, also urge you to modify it and use only the parts that apply to your specific goals for your students.
Knowing that time is not a luxury for teachers as they progress through all of the material that they are expected to cover in their courses throughout the school year, please note that every attempt has been made to tie into the most current curricula frameworks and Common Core standards outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Education for third grade elementary school students. Further, please note that these lessons can serve as a base to be adapted for any age or grade level. And, while specific to Westport, Massachusetts history, where applicable, attempts have been made to place topics in a statewide, national, and global context.
Great care has been taken to properly edit and provide the most accurate and current scholarship available. As up-to-date research is uncovered, specifically regarding the Cadman-White-Handy House c. 1713, 1800, 1830, revisions will be made to this curricula as applicable. All attempts have been made to present as accurate research as possible. Any inconsistencies or inaccuracies are completely unintentional and are the sole responsibility of the Westport Historical Society Education Department.
By the end of the school year, each student should come away from this experience with a deeper understanding of the history of their hometown of Westport and their role as a citizen of the town. They should understand that history is ongoing and that they play a part in the history of Westport.
Just as a ship captain keeps a logbook of each voyage, a farmer keeps a farm log of the animals’ health and a record of the crops; a company keeps records of sales and bills and a building owner keeps a maintenance log. By the end of the school year, the students who participate in this curricula will have put together their own logbook of Westport history that they can share with their families and friends. We hope that these “apprentice historians” will become lifelong Westport “ambassadors of history”.
Children’s Heritage Education Program
Macomber Primary School Sewing Project
The Westport Historical Society and the Westport Education Foundation have partnered on a project to perpetuate the art of hand sewing. We are embarking on an adventure to teach the 1st Grade students at the Alice A. Macomber Primary School how to hand sew a quilt inspired by a patchwork piece in the historical society’s collection!
This piece was created locally by students in Mary I. Gifford’s class sometime between the years 1891-94. It is a basic beginner quarter square block, also known as an hourglass block. What makes this piece even more special is that the teacher hand wrote each student’s name and age on a piece of paper that is pinned to the row of blocks sewn by that student. The ages range from five to seven years old, the same as the students who will be participating in the project!
With the help of volunteers, the 1st graders will create a Queen sized quilt to be raffled off to benefit the Westport Education Foundation. Along the way, the students will learn about local history, the craft of hand sewing and quilting, working as part of a team, and a sense of accomplishment that will help build self-esteem.
This project will take place on Wednesdays during April and May 2015 for a 45-minute session, 1:30 – 2:15 pm, at the Macomber Primary School, 154 Gifford Road. We are recruiting volunteers to help teach the students to hand sew. We would appreciate having each volunteer sign up for a majority of the sessions, but, appreciate a reliable shorter commitment as well.
Training will be available to those who have never hand sewn or need to brush up on their skills. An affinity for working with small children is a requirement as a rapport will be built up with the students over the weeks. Quilters, sewers, crafters, and teachers are most suited to this project, but, anyone is welcome to apply.
Please fill out the attached volunteer application and CORI form and mail to:
Kathleen McAreavey, Manager of Education Programs, Westport Historical Society, P.O. Box N188, Westport, MA 02790.
Any questions may be directed to Kathleen at
This project is funded by a grant from the Westport Cultural Council, a division of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Thank you for your interest in, and support of, Westport Historical Society Children’s Heritage Education Programs! We look forward to seeing you!
WHS Docents Needed for Student Programming
We are recruiting volunteers for the WHS Children’s Heritage Education Program. We presently work with Westport third-graders, but, eventually the program will be open to a wider range of grades and farther reaching school districts. If you enjoy interacting with children, love history, buildings, farms, factories, the sea and all the wonderful stories related to them, then this is the program for you!
These local field trips are site-specific components of a larger curriculum. They include conducting in-class pre-lessons and site visits. Regular docent trainings are conducted to present and reinforce the information necessary. Anyone interested in Westport history is welcome to participate; former school teachers, educators, and college/graduate students studying history, humanities, or education are particularly suited to this volunteer position. The ability to stand and comfortably walk up to one mile is required. A mandatory criminal background check (BCI) is required.
For more details please contact Kathleen McAreavey, WHS Manager of Education Programs at 508-636-6011.