Program Stations

You may select 3 stations for your class’s visit to Stratford Hall. In addition to your selected stations, each Educational Adventure program includes a short tour of the Great House and the “Servitude—Holding a Wolf by the Ears (Slaves, Indentureds, and Convicts)” station.

This station is required of all schools and is not included in your final number of 3 stations to choose from:

Servitude—Holding a Wolf by the Ears (Slaves, Indentureds, and Convicts)

servitude
The plight of indentured servants, enslaved people, and transported convicts is brought to life in this station. After discussing the differences between these types of servitude, students will learn what types of jobs were typical for servants and slaves and what might be required in those jobs. They will sign an indentured servant contract of their own with a quill pen and ink. This station includes a variety of hands-on activities, particularly in agriculture, where students experience some of the required jobs of slaves. This station combines our previously-separate stations of Indentured Servitude and Slavery.
Virginia SOLs: 2.7; 2.8; VS.1b; VS.1c; VS.1e; VS.4a; VS.4e; VS.7c; USI.4c; USI.8c; USI.9

Station 1: The Blacksmith’s Apprentice
blacksmithing
By interacting with an 18th century blacksmith demonstrating the trade, students will learn about a time before mass production, when craftspeople hand-wrought the goods used by colonists. Students will assist the blacksmith forging hot iron into tools and household objects. They will apply knowledge of simple machines to the blacksmith forge and other tools. Also working as farrier, the blacksmith is concerned with the horses on a colonial plantation and will focus on the role of horses at Stratford. If you choose this station for your class, please also choose a backup that we can do in place of “The Blacksmith’s Apprentice” on a rainy day. Virginia SOLs: 1.1a; 2.1a; 2.2; 2.3; 3.2; 3.11d; 3.8; 4.2; 4.8; US1.5a; USI.5c; VS.1; VS.4e

**Station 2: The Fossil Factory: Paleontology of Stratford

This station requires the time of two station selections. Stratford’s stunning cliffs are known worldwide for the Miocene Era fossils which are found routinely in the strata and occasionally on the shore of Stratford’s beach. Students will learn about the geological changes that occurred in the land long before the Lees ever settled in Stratford Hall. After seeing firsthand the site where fossils have been discovered, particularly sharks’ teeth, students will become apprentice paleontologists and will practice collecting and identifying fossils in our hands-on activities. They may keep any fossils that they find. This program will usually take place on Stratford’s beach depending on weather conditions.
Virginia Science SOLs: 4.1, 4.8, 5.1, 5.6, 5.7
**Please note that this station requires a 10 minute walk down (and up) a steep road.

**Station 3: Gristmill and Wharf Area
gristmill
Students will learn about the process of converting corn, wheat, and barley into grain at Stratford’s restored, operational 18th-century gristmill. Situated next to the Potomac River in what was formerly a busy wharf area, the mill also provides an important backdrop for students to examine how trade and business were conducted 250 years ago. When a miller is available on site, students will see the mill in operation. Otherwise, they will watch a video which similarly brings the mill to life.
Virginia SOLs: VS1, VS.4a, VS.4b, VS.4d, USI.1, USI.5b, USI.5c, USI.5d
**Please note that this station requires a 10 minute walk down (and up) a steep road.

Station 4: The Stratford Great House: Brick-by-Brick
brickmaking
In this station, students will gain an understanding of the tools, materials, and methods of the 18th-century brickmaker and bricklayer. Students will: make a new brick with clay, hand-rub a brick, ram the earth firm to create a foundation, use a plumb level, strike a penny-round mortar joint, and lay a brick wall of their own. If you choose this station for your class, please also choose a backup that we can do in place of “Brick-by-Brick” on a rainy day.
Virginia SOLs: 1.8a; 2.6; 3.1; 4:8c; 4.10b; 5.11; 8.10; VS.1; VS.4e; USI.5c

Station 5: Stratford Hall: An Architectural Puzzle
building
Students will learn to appreciate the architectural features of the c.1738 Stratford Great House. They will come to understand 18th-century design and construction methods through a variety of hands-on activities using floor plans, bricks and timbers. Students will learn about historians’ ongoing efforts to discover the mysteries of Stratford’s architectural past, including the original design and subsequent changes. They will solve problems derived from the role of mathematics in architecture and construction.
Virginia SOLs: 2.15a; 3.1; 3.10; 3.14; 3.5; 3.6; VS.1; VS.4e

Station 6: Make it and Wear it: Working with Fibers in the 18th Century
spinning
At this station, students will learn about the many steps required to produce homespun textiles on a plantation like Stratford. They will learn about the four natural fibers used and how they were processed. They will talk about dyeing fabric and what natural materials created the various colored cloths. Students will then have hands-on experience in wool carding, weaving, and spinning.
Virginia SOLs: 1.4b; 1.8; 2.8a; 2.4a; 2.8b; 3.2c and 3.2d; 4.4; VS.1e; VS.4a; VS.4e; US1.5a; US1.5c
 
 
 
 
Station 7: Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child: Children’s Education and Amusements
the schoolroom
Students will use hornbooks, practice writing on slates, and review Latin, Greek, and arithmetic as they experience a colonial, private education in the Great House. The schoolmaster/mistress will also instruct the class about the former residents of Stratford Hall who, without a solid education, could not have played a major role in the formation of our nation. This station focuses especially on Francis Lightfoot Lee and Richard Henry Lee, both signers of the Declaration of Independence. Students will also learn about and participate in games that were typical of those played by children in the 18th century.
Virginia SOLs: 1.10; 2.10; 3.5; VS.1a; VS.1e; VS.2c; VS.2f; VS.4e; VS.5; USI.6c; CE.4b; 2.5; 3.5

Station 8: What’s Cookin’? 18th Century Foodways
cooking
Students will learn to compare and contrast 18th century foods, cooking, tools, and methods with those of today. Students will also grind corn into cornmeal, learn about food preservation methods, prepare food for drying, plan a day’s menu for the Lees (using 18th century foods!), and conduct a “tray race” so they can appreciate the difficulties of carrying trays of food to the Great House.
Virginia SOLs: 1.2; 2.7; VS.1a; VS.1e; VS1.5c; VS.4e; 2.7; 2.8; 3.11
 
 
 
 
Station 9: Duty Calls: Induction into the Virginia Militia
militia
In this station, students will learn that the militia, along with the Continental Army, was an important element in our fight for independence—the American Revolution. They will also participate in military marching with a drum, wooden muskets, and flag; discover how participation in the Militia was a required part of the 18th century lifestyle—a civic duty; practice loading a musket cartridge with “black powder” and musket ball; learn how the Militia functioned in colonial times in ways other than in the fight for independence; and enjoy participating in making a five pointed star in the manner that (so the story goes!) Betsy Ross did it in sewing one of our nation’s first flags.
Virginia SOLs: 1.1; 2.12; 2.10c; 3.10; 3.11; VS.4e; VS.5; USI.6c

**Stratford Hall reserves the right to modify program locations based on weather conditions and staffing.