The 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House offers a variety of field trips, tours, and programs for students, primary through secondary. Teachers can build their tour based on topics listed below or choose a specific grade approprate tour developed by area educators based on Illinois curriculum guidelines. Special seminars and lectures are also offered for the adult learner and are scheduled throughout the year.
Appointments for scheduling a field trip or tour can be made by calling the Col. Benjamin Stephenson House at 618-692-1818. The cost for a field trip and/or tour is $2.50 per student (regardless of age). The fee for parents accompanying a field trip is $5.00 each. Adult tour rates are $5.00 per person.
Groups as large as sixty can be accommodated per visit. Field trips or adult group tours are conducted Wednesday through Sundays during normal hours of operation. Buses are requested to unload and park on the Linden Street side of the property.
Field trips and group tours take two hours and are empirical in nature.
School tours are designed for each grade level. Students have the opportunity to experience history through hands-on play and learning stations. Classes are divided into two or four groups (depending on size) and interact with historical interpreters at hands-on stations.
Download our Educational Concepts brochure at the bottom of this page for more details
Focus: Life Then and Now: Comparing and Contrasting Life in 1820 With Today
STORIES & SONGS. Learn stories and songs from the early 1800s.
ABC LESSON. Exploring the ABCs through the use of an early 19th century battledore.
KITCHEN CHORES. Kitchen chores necessary to start the day (includes helping to make a period recipe).
YOUR HOUSE, OUR HOUSE. Looking at the differences between the Stephenson House and your house.
SEASONS OF GARDENING AT STEPHENSON HOUSE. This topic is weather dependent and focuses on the current season. Spring focuses on preparing the soil, planting, and examining what is growing in the garden. Fall focuses on seeds; identification, differences and storage.
Focus: To be decided by teacher
At this time, Stephenson House does not have trunks for 1st grade curriculums. Teachers wanting to bring their class have the option of choosing from our already established ‘Topics’ and having a trunk designed around their individual class needs. Contact the director (618-692-1818) for more information on developing a trunk for your class.
Focus: Life of Young Children
GAMES. The types of games played by children in 1820. This topic is weather permitting and is either conducted on the front lawn or in the orientation room.
THE STEPHENSON CHILDREN’S BEDROOM. Discussion of the types of clothing worn by children during the early 19th century, taking a bath and hand-held toys.
HERBS. Identifying herbs from the garden by touch and smell; uses of herbs for cooking, fragrance and medicines.
LIFE IN THE SERVANT’S QUARTERS. Lives of the indenture servants and their children. Comparing the lives of the children who lived at Stephenson House.
Focus: Weather, Its Importance in Life during the 1820, What Is the Style of the Stephenson House
SYMMETRY & WEATHER. Students look for symmetry throughout the house and discuss how weather impacted daily life at the house.
THE STEPHENSONS: A STORY OF EARLY ILLINOIS. Students watch and discuss the documentary video.
FOOD PRESERVATION. Discussion of how the Stephensons preserved food year-round and how the weather affected the food supply. A hands-on activity is also conducted.
LAUNDRY DAY. It’s laundry day at the house; some students will carry water buckets using the yoke; all have a turn scrubbing, rinsing, and hanging up the laundry.
Focus: Images of Greatness-Stephenson and His Time
FOLK ART & CRAFTS. Discuss arts and crafts made within a home that demonstrate decorative and functional uses.
LIFE IN THE MILITIA. Learn about the day-to-day activities of a soldier posted at Fort Russell during the War of 1812. Students will see examples of clothing, weapons, equipment, as well as, learn basic drill.
IMAGES OF GREATNESS. This station focuses on men and women who had a significant impact in Edwardsville, St. Louis and Illinois.
COOKING IN THE KITCHEN. The types of recipes and utensils commonly used in an 1820 kitchen are presented. Students are asked to identify various kitchen implements that are vastly different from the modern counterpart. Also, a demonstration of how to start a fire with flint and steel.
Focus: Indentured Servants and Their Role in the Success of the House
ARCHEOLOGY. How to discover the past by digging in the dirt. This hands-on activity teaches students how to identify fragments found during digs at historic sites.
INDENTURED SERVATUDE & SLAVERY. The difference between a slave and an indentured servant is discussed with students. A lesson using ‘runaway’ ads from area papers brings period social perceptions to life.
TRADES & APRENTISHIPS. What kinds of trades were essential to society during the early 19th century? What is an aprentiship and how does it work?
SCAVENGER HUNT. While touring the house, students need to find six objects that are functional and/or decorative.
Focus: To be decided by teacher
At this time, Stephenson House does not have trunks for 6th grade curriculums. Teachers wanting to bring their class have the option of choosing from our already established ‘Topics’ and having a trunk designed around their individual class needs. Contact the director (618-692-1818) for more information on developing a trunk for your class.
Focus: The Young Adolescent and social customs/In October-the mourning of Col. Stephenson
THE STEPHENSONS: A STORY OF EARLY ILLINOIS. Students watch the documentary video about the Stephenson family then discuss social customs.
WAR OF 1812: FACTS & MYTHS. Common myths regarding the history of the War of 1812 are presented and discussed.
COMMON OBJECTS: DAILY USES. Seven items from the kitchen and/or servants quarters are chosen for discussion. How these common objects affect the daily life of a servant is the focus.
MOURNING CUSTOMS. This station is conducted during the month of October while the mourning exhibit is on display throughout the house. Mourning customs practices at the time of Col. Stephenson death are the focus.
Teachers are encouraged to contact us at 618-692-1818 to discuss teaching and learning concepts that would be of importance to the needs of your specific grade level. We can customize a tour or field trip for your grade level and curricular needs.