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School Groups

School Groups

The Old North currently offers four different meaningful ways to engage your students beyond the typical site visit! Please click on the options below to read more about our school programs and CLICK HERE to see our booking & logistical guidelines for visiting school groups. If you have any questions about the programs or if you’d like to create a tailored experience for your class, please contact our Director of Education at 617-858-8231 ext. 106. We are happy to work with you to create the ultimate visit for your students!

Behind the Scenes Tours

Go Behind the Scenes at the Old North! This 30 minute guided tour is our most popular program and offers a more in-depth view of the Old North and its history within the theme of HOW THINGS WORK. Essential questions guiding student learning: How is the church building physically structured? What are change-ringing bells and how do they function? What is a crypt and why/how was it used at Old North? You and your students will explore two areas of the church only accessible on private tour: The Bell Ringing Chamber: Climb the stairs of the Old North bell tower to the room where the teen-aged Paul Revere worked as a bell ringer. Explore the history and architecture of the steeple, which has been toppled twice by hurricanes in its storied history. Listen and learn about the workings of the oldest set of change-ringing bells in North America. (*This section requires climbing and descending two flights of narrow stairs.) The Crypt: Walk amongst the 37 tombs constructed below the floors of the Old North between 1732 and 1860. Learn about the construction of the crypt, view artifacts found in the crypt, and learn how and why crypts were used in colonial Boston. Age Level: Appropriate for 5th grade and up.

Capacity: 25 students per tour MAXIMUM. Due to the physical space within Old North, we cannot accommodate more than 25 people per tour. However, we can accommodate 50 people at the same time by starting two tour groups in different sections. Please speak to our Visitor Services Manager for more details. Price: $8.00 per person For reservations, please contact the Visitor Services Manager at tours@oldnorth.com. Please include the name of your school and school address, number of students and chaperones, and your preferred dates and times. We will do our best to accommodate your request. Please note we are especially busy with school groups April – June.

Meets the following Massachusetts Frameworks for History and Social Science :

  • 8-12.CS.10 – Distinguish historical fact from opinion. (H, E, C)

  • 8-12.CS.7 – Show connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and ideas and larger social, economic, and political trends and developments. (H, G, C, E)

  • 8-12.CS.8 – Interpret the past within its own historical context rather than in terms of present-day norms and values. (H, E, C)

A History Mystery

This two-hour exploratory activity invites students to use historical documents, grave markers at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, and clues inside Old North Church to investigate the unsolved mystery of who hung the lanterns in the Old North steeple on the eve of the American Revolution. Students learn to discern between primary and secondary sources and how to incorporate them into their historical research. Age Level: Created for 3rd – 5th graders. Capacity: 40 students per program MAXIMUM; a minimum of 4 chaperones required for this program. We are no longer able to accommodate groups larger than 40. Please plan your field trips accordingly. Price: $10.00 per person *This program is available at 10 am, 1 pm, or 2 pm ONLY.

For reservations, please contact the Visitor Services Manager by emailing tours@oldnorth.com. Please include the name of your school and school address, number of students and chaperones, and your preferred dates and times. We will do our best to accommodate your request. Please note we are especially busy with school groups April – June.

Meets the following Massachusetts Frameworks for History and Social Science:

  • 4.CS.3 – Observe and describe national historic sites and describe their function and significance. (H, C)

  • 4.CS.3 – Observe and describe national historic sites and describe their function and significance. (H, C)

  • 5.CS.2 – Interpret timelines of events studied. (H)

  • 5.CS.3 – Observe and identify details in cartoons, photographs, charts, and graphs relating to an historical narrative. (H, E, C)

Meets the following Common Core English Language Arts Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.4.1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when daring inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 – Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4/5.4 – Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.5.1 – Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.6.1 – Cite textual evidence to support analysis of why the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.6.2 – Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distance from personal opinions or judgements.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.4 – Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 – Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 – Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summer of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.6-8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.6-8.6 – Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 – Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawing from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 – Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Behind the Scenes Tours

Practice visual literacy with your students and study the aesthetic components of the Old North Church! Inspired by Visual Thinking Strategies, this hour long program examines the exterior and interior architecture of the church as well as three fine art pieces inside the church. Students discover Anglican stylistic and decorative influences while sharpening their observation and communication skills through a discussion-based format. Students consider the visual elements before them within the context of the 18th and 19th centuries and decode their meaning by looking, discussing, and looking again. There’s always more than meets the eye! Age Level: Adaptable for small groups of mature middle and high school students. Perfect for college classes in the following subjects: art history, architecture history, architecture, historic preservation, urban planning. Capacity: 15 students per program maximum; a typical class size will be broken into two groups and can be run simultaneously. This program is not meant for large groups as it centers around insightful conversations and requires a more intimate environment. Price: $10.00 per person For reservations, please contact the Visitor Services Manager at tours@oldnorth.com. Please include the name of your school and school address, number of students and chaperones, and your preferred dates and times. Typically this program is only offered when the historic site is closed to the public (i.e. first thing in the morning or after hours). Please make plans well ahead of time, and we will do our best to accommodate your request! Please note we are especially busy with school groups April – June.

Meets the following Common Core Standards for English Language Arts:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4 – Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4 – Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1c – Propel conversations by posting and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d – Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 – Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listens can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1c – Propel conversations by posting and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 – Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternate or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 – Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their owns clearly and persuasively.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 – Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audiences.

Meets the following Massachusetts Frameworks for Arts :

6.7 – Compare examples of works in one arts domain from several periods or cultures and explain the extent to which each reflects function, customs, religious beliefs, social philosophies, aesthetic theories, economic conditions, and/or historical or political events.

 

View of the 17th century Baroque angels from the second floor gallery.

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