Nathan Hale Homestead is the perfect place for students learning about the history of Connecticut in the colonial and Revolutionary period. The site is the birthplace of Connecticut’s State Hero, Nathan Hale, who was hanged as a spy during the Revolutionary War. The house, built in 1776, belonged to Nathan’s parents and family, and is located on the only site he ever called home. The Hale Homestead is situated on 17 acres, adjoining the 1500-acre Nathan Hale State Forest, lending to the site’s substantial rural character.
Teachers can select from the following presentations. The quantity of programs per field trip vary based the number of students and amount of time each group can spend at the site.
Patriotism and Peril / House Tour
Students tour the home built by the Hale family in 1776 and learn about the everyday life of a colonial family facing the American Revolution through basic role play. Guides discuss how the Hale family supported the war effort and how both men and women expressed patriotism.
Students experience 18th-century school life in our one room schoolhouse. They will participate in 18th-century lesson plans including figuring arithmetic on slate boards. Students will learn how strict an 18th-century classroom could be but will also have the opportunity to enjoy recess using 18th-century toys such as graces, Jacob’s ladder and wooden hoops.
Health and Hearth
Students will learn why the kitchen was the heart of the colonial home by exploring the kitchen garden, food storage, colonial foods and herbal medicines. A snack will be made on the hearth and shared with the students.
*Garden experience varies based on season.
Swifts and Spindles
What did 18th-century Americans wear and how was it made? Students experience the process of making fabric out of wool and flax first hand through carding wool, weaving and dyeing yarn.
The Life of a Soldier
Students will learn the trials and tribulations of soldier life by visiting a soldier encampment. They will learn to drill, communicate through drum rolls, pitch a tent, and explore fire making methods such as flint and steel.
Spy for a Day
Student spies will learn to write with quill and ink, decipher coded letters and use tools of the trade. They will also discuss when and how codes are used in their modern daily life.
Learning about the Land
Students explore the landscape of Nathan Hale Homestead. Participants learn about a variety of tasks associated with a farm as well as how the landscape has changed since 1776.