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Teacher Resources: Programs at the Museum and Reference Materials

Museum Tours

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. Touchscreens in each Connections Room allow visitors to explore photographs, documents, journal articles, and additional information about the state's fifty-five counties. For a overview of the museum layout, Please see attached for museum map: English version and Spanish version, or check out the video tour from WVPBS below:

A short virtual tour of each of the Museum's 26 Discovery Rooms (courtesy WVPBS) Company Store


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.

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.

Reference Materials and Lesson Plans

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:

WV State Capitol

WV Counties map

WV State Gem

Salt Works

WV Industries

WV Historic People

WV Civil War

WV Women's Suffrage

WV Disasters & Resiliency

Print Room

The Mountain Boy

Rumsey Steamboat

Automatic Voting Booth

Telephone Switchboard

Cutlass Pistol

Little Seal


video camera

Region Map


Additional Reference Sites

Museum Hours of Operation and Directions

Operating Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

***Closed Sundays and Mondays***

Closed all National Holidays except Memorial Day weekend

Admission is free

For more information call: (304) 558-0220