The West Virginia State Museum offers a variety of tours and activities--all free. The tours range from self-guided to in-depth discovery tours. Contact the Education Coordinator, Nathan Barner, via email or telephone (304) 558-0220 ext 185, to find the right tour program for you and your students.
The Show Path is an approximate forty-five minute tour through West Virginia history, which comes alive through dynamic re-creations of pivotal events and places in the state's past. Through first-person accounts, visitors will be immersed in each time and place. Connected to the Show Path are the Discovery Rooms that feature artifacts, works of art, stories, music, film clips and follow a the timeline from prehistory all the way up to the 21st century. In the two Connections Rooms, visitors can learn even more about the topics and events of West Virginia. Computer stations in each Connections Room allow visitors to explore photographs, documents, journal articles, and additional information about the state's fifty-five counties. Please see attached for museum map: English version and Spanish version.
You can also view a preview of each of the Museum's 26 Discovery Rooms to prepare for your visit.
The West Virginia State Museum offers programs that can add enrichment to your curriculum. Take a look at our current activities, grade specific programs and student workshops offered. Also feel free to utilize The West Virginia Encyclopedia's e-WV lesson plans for Elementary through Eighth Grade West Virginia studies.
History in a box outreach kits: These themed kits are packaged in suitcases provide background materials, reproduction artifacts, lesson and activities that tie your lessons with West Virginia culture and history. They can be used as a free-standing study or as pre/post visit activities when combined with your trip to the State Museum. The Current kits available are:
20th Century Immigration
For more information about available boxes and how to check them out contact the Museum's Education Department via email or call (304) 558-0220 extension 185.
Plan a Field Trip
You can work with our Education Coordinator to schedule a visit to the Capital, Governor's Mansion, and the State Museum. Also, check out our information on planning your visit to the state museum. If you plan to have a group of more than 15 people we ask that you schedule ahead of time so that we can fully accommodate you during your visit, and make the experience the best it can be for you and your students.
How can we relate historic perspective to someone who communicates in "real time" and measures change in seconds instead of centuries? We look to Socrates, "I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." And there we begin. Working with educators and historians, we have created personal experiences in the museum with the stories that illustrate what became and is the 35th state. Each individual is placed "in the moment", experiencing the sights and sounds that immerse the curious and the dreamer. For the young learners who ask "what's next?" We want them to discover that we need to know where we've been to know where we are going. The state museum's education programs support the West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) vision of high standards and preparedness for higher learning. The programs meet the 21st century content standards and objectives for West Virginia schools, combine multiple disciplines and target all grade levels. The format involves designing experiences that require research, investigation and reflection, which strengthen higher-order thinking skills and analytical proficiency.
Our Education Department has orientation materials, activities, and more to make the most of your visit. Check out some of the key online resources to further enhance your West Virginia arts, culture and history studies:
Lesson Plans' Vocabulary list
West Virginia's State symbols
West Virginia's Natural resources
West Virginia's State Industries
West Virginia's Historic People
West Virginia A War Within a State
Fighting the Long Fight West Virginia Women and the Right to Vote
West Virginia's Disasters and Resiliency
West Virginia Archives and History Online Exhibits
West Virginia Archives and History On This Day in West Virginia History
West Virginia Archives and History West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Database
e-West Virginia's Lesson Plans for West Virginia Studies
West Virginia Department of Education Teacher Resources for Educational Excellence (TREE) College and Career Readiness Standards for Social Studies
West Virginia Department of Education WV College and Career Readiness Standards, Resource Booklet for Social Studies Grades 6-12
ESRI Education's GeoInquiries Collections
Tuesday through Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
***Closed Sundays and Mondays***
Closed all National Holidays except Memorial Day weekend
Admission is free
For more information call: (304) 558-0220