List of School Programs

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is dedicated to providing meaningful & relevant learning experiences for school children. To that end, we have worked to ensure our programs align with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Please click on each program title for more information on how it will help your students meet curriculum requirements, as well as some suggested pre- and post-visit activities to supplement the learning and skill development that occur in the program.

Click Here for a PDF List of Our School Programs



Tale of the Dragon 

Learn about griffins, gargoyles and other mythological creatures. Hear the legend of St. George & the Dragon and enjoy our Griffin Garden. Role-play the part of the dragon, hear other dragon stories, and make your own dragon to take home.

Pre-K to 2nd grade

NEW – Building Bridges: Architecture and Problem Solving at METC (STE[A]M & primary source/object) Best for grades K -2nd

Learn the foundation of how buildings are made by exploring the architecture of the historic METC building as well as the surrounding area. Predict, investigate and evaluate the strengths of different types of structures by building and experimenting with prototypes of bridges.

 Early American Toys & Tales 

Let’s Play! Experience how Early American children played, discover how early toys were made, and learn how “free time” has changed and stayed the same. Includes playing with replicas of toys from early America and decorating a spinning top.

1st to 4th grades

Simple Machines (STE[A]M & primary source/object) 

Early Americans developed tools to save time and energy using simple machines.  Explore the functions of the inclined plane, screw, lever, wedge, wheel & axle, and pulley through hands-on examination of the Museum’s artifacts.  In cooperative learning groups, present findings to the class.  Decorate a simple machine to take home.

A Child’s Life in Early America (primary source/object) 

What was it like to be a child living in Early American times? Was it very different from how children live today, or are there similarities? Children will experience a day in the life of an Early American child, problem-solve the challenges they would face and make a toy to take home.

School Days  Best for 2nd-5th grade

Students examine reproduction 19th-century school supplies and learn how each object tells the story of the students in a one-room schoolhouse.  Participants will get to try their hand at writing with a quill or dip pen on a “hornbook” to take home.

4th to 12th grades

NEW – Challenges and Choices: Immigrant Experiences in 19th Century New Jersey (primary source/object) Best for grades 3rd-8th

Explore the difficult challenges immigrants encountered in the mid-1800s. Students will experience what it meant to travel from far away countries to settle in New Jersey by stepping into the immigrants’ shoes and packing actual 19th century objects as they take on the roles of real 19th century New Jersey immigrants. The museum’s exhibits and artifacts will provide context to help students understand the ways in which these diverse groups worked together to solve the challenges their communities faced, and help students understand how these individual  stories relate to the present.

The Tradesman and Community (STE[A]M) Best for 3rd-5th grade

Become a citizen in an early 19th-century community.  Who did you depend on? What was your role in the community? Learn about the blacksmith, the tinsmith, the cooper and many other tradespeople while taking part in a “Community Web” activity.  Train to be a Tinsmith Apprentice and make a tin-punching craft.

The American Revolution in New Jersey (primary source/object) 

Tracing the lives of various New Jersey residents—Tories, Patriots, iron workers, farmers, housewives, tavern keepers—and enhanced by artifacts from the Museum’s collection of 18th-century objects—this program highlights the harsh conditions and changes in lifestyles that people endured during the colonies’ fight for independence. Journal-making & creative writing complete the program.

Decoding the Past (STE[A]M & primary source/object) 

What could this object be? What was it used for? What does it tell us about life in earlier times? Examine some of the Museum’s more mysterious artifacts, and have fun trying to figure out what they were. Explore the museum’s exhibits to discover and “decode” other unfamiliar objects.

Exploring Architecture (STE[A]M & primary source/object) Appropriate for 2nd-12th grade

Use METC’s beautiful building to explore how architecture combines form and function in a unique way.  Discover different architectural techniques and terms, then design a stained-glass window inspired by the ones in our building.  “Take home” parts of the METC building by creating rubbings from the building itself.

Exhibit open June 25, 2019 through January 5, 2020

Sweet Treats: Desserts & Delicacies from the Garden State 

METC’s current exhibit will indulge your senses in the rich culinary traditions that find their roots here in the Garden State. The exhibit features historic cookware, and draws from local recipes to help shape our understanding of the expertise and artisanship involved in creating these special dishes, many of which continue to be enjoyed today.

Contact the Education Department at 973-377-2982 ext. 12 or
to plan a customized program either at METC or at your school.