School Programs

JAHM offers award-winning educational programs for schools and homeschool groups, scouts, and the general public. School programs are fun, hands-on experiences that:

  • Meet objectives of Illinois’ Learning Standards
  • Cost between $4 and $6 per student
  • Allow teachers and chaperones to attend scheduled education programs at no charge (1 chaperone per 10 students)
  • Are accessible to disabled students

School Programs include:

  • Prairie Pioneers
  • Toys and Games of Times Past
  • Founding Families
  • History Hunt
  • To the Moon!
  • The Route 66 Experience
  • Joliet Downtown Loop: Architecture and Monument Walk in Downtown Joliet
  • Native American Culture in Will County
 

Touch and Play at the Museum!

Preschool-2nd Grade (1 1/4-1 1/2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
Introduce your students to the Museum with a “Touch and Play” class. In this program, kids touch and play their way through the Museum galleries. We’ll finish with an age-appropriate, hands-on activity in the Museum’s Houbolt Resource & Discovery Room.

History Hunt

3rd Grade and Up (1 1/2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
In this program, students participate in a history hunt to learn about the artifacts in the Museum’s main gallery and to discover what these artifacts tell us about what life was like in Joliet and the surrounding area in times past. This program is especially good for larger groups of students or can be paired with another program for an all-day Museum program.

Prairie Pioneers

Preschool-3rd Grade (1 1/2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
No video games!? No texting or Instagram? No cars? No grocery stores?!? You gotta be kiddin’ me! This program gives students a glimpse at life on the prairie in 1832, the year Charles Reed built his cabin on land that would eventually become Joliet. Students learn about housing, transportation, clothing, and chores of yesteryear through hands-on, station-based activities. Students make and taste home-made butter—a favorite of students and teachers alike. This program can be brought to your school or center~ask for details.

Toys and Games of Times Past

1st Grade and up (2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
Are kids today like kids of yesterday? This program utilizes toys and games to illustrate how Native American and pioneer children lived over two-hundred years ago. Students will engage in hands-on game and toy playing and discover, in the process, that kids today are very much like those of yester-year. At the conclusion of the program, students will make a toy to take home. This program also in-cludes an abbreviated tour of the Museum’s main gallery. A favorite of teachers and students alike! This program can be brought to your school or center~ask for details.

To the Moon!

2nd Grade and Up (2 hours)
Cost: $5/student
In this station-based program, students learn how Joliet native, Dr. John C. Houbolt, helped the United States to land on the Moon in 1969. More im-portantly, students engage in a variety of age-appropriate, hands-on activi-ties, chosen by teachers from a list of options, to learn about the solar sys-tem, the moon and Mars. Options for hands-on activities include, but are not limited to: train like an astronaut, building paper rockets, pin the great red spot on Jupiter, Solar System scramble, dissect a sample from Mars (only available for classes with no food allergies), design a Mars rocket, etc. A fun, interactive program that students and teachers alike really enjoy!

Founding Families

3rd Grade (2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
Founding Families is a program developed specifically for third grade students. In this two-part pro-gram, students first become actors in a play, set at the old Will County courthouse in 1852, that recreates the founding of Joliet and in which students also learn about Louis Jolliet and the Potawatomi Indians. Students then participate in a History Hunt in the Museum’s galleries to help them further understand the historical events that have shaped Joliet and the surrounding communities. Winner, 2004 Illinois Association of Museums Award of Excellence.

The Joliet Loop: Architecture Seek and Find!

Preschool-2nd Grade (1 1/2 hours)
Cost : $5/Student
This class uses architecture to reinforce basic math concepts such as shapes and patterns while learning about local history! Students read a story to learn what architecture is all about and then use a seek and find worksheet to look for shapes as we walk through downtown Joliet, following the “loop” route the trolleys used to take. As they look for shapes, the students learn basic concepts of architecture, design, and local history. In the second part of the program, students use shapes to create their own building on paper. This program is designed for classes of 20 or fewer students. Additional chaperones are required for this program, which is only available April 1-October 31st, weather permitting. Students should wear appropriate walking shoes and dress according to weather conditions. A waiver signed by parents is required and will be sent to teachers along with confirmation information. Groups larger than 20 can also do this program~ask how!

The Joliet Loop: Architecture and Monument Walk through Downtown Joliet

3rd Grade and Up (2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
This class uses architecture to reinforce math concepts while learning about local history! Students learn the basics of neo classical architecture by examining the Museum building. They then move outside for an architecture walk through the downtown “loop” (the old trolley route) where they learn about the history of Joliet by looking at the types of businesses once located in Joliet, the styles of architecture, and the materials used in the buildings. They also examine the monuments on the courthouse square to learn what these structures tell us about local history and what it means to be a community. Students complete an architecture/history hunt during the walk. This program is designed for classes of 30 stu-dents or less. Additional chaperones are required for this program, which is only available April 1-October 31st, weather permitting. Students should wear appropriate walking shoes and dress according to weather conditions. A waiver signed by parents is required for this program and will be sent to teachers along with confirmation information. Groups larger than 20 can also do this program~ask how!

 

Native American Culture in Will County

From the Hopewell culture to the Potawatomi, Will County is rich in Native American history. The following lessons introduce students to the culture of the Potawatomi, the last group of Native Americans to live in what would eventu-ally become Will County.

The Native American Circle of Life

Preschool-2nd Grade (1 1/2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
In this lesson, students participate in fun, hands-on activities to investigate significant aspects of Po-tawatomi life, including the role animals played in the Native American circle of life. Students listen to a Native American folk tale to learn the role oral tradition played in passing down Native American history and how stories, especially those featuring animals, were used by Native Americans to explain the world around them. Then, they make a turtle rattle and use it to do a Circle Dance, a dance used to honor the animals that had provided them with food, clothing, and so much more. Finally, students engage in Native American games of awareness to learn how Native American children were taught to become skilled hunters. **A turtle worksheet will be sent to teachers upon registration so that students can complete the initial steps necessary to make their turtle rattle prior to their museum visit. This program can be brought to your center or school.

Native American Life: Trade and Communication

3rd Grade and Up (2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
This program is highly recommended if your students are reading The Sign of the Beaver! Two-hundred years ago this region was home to the Potawatomi Indians. What did it look like? How did the Native Americans live? How did they communicate with each other? Students learn the answer to these questions and more during this program. After analyzing drawings of a Potawatomi village to determine if their lives were like ours today, students engage in a variety of fun, hands-on activities to learn more about Native American life. They barter to learn how the Potawatomi traded with other tribes and eventually with the European explorers and settlers to get what they needed to survive. The students also play a game to learn a few symbols from Native American sign language, and write a story using pictographs. This program can be brought to your school.

The Route 66 Experience

4th-6th Grade (2 hours)
Cost: $5/Student
I’ll take an M.D., hold the hail, paint a bun pup red, an order of frog sticks, and a
splash of red noise! Don’t know what this means? You will after your students get
their “Kicks” exploring Route 66 in this station-based, hands-on program. In this lesson, students learn about all facets of Route 66 from geography to food! They’ll write a letter home from their Route 66 road trip, analyze the geography of the Route 66 states, explore the Route 66 Experience exhibit, calculate how much food costs along the road, and learn diner slang, a student and teacher favorite!