The Doak House Museum is offering two new educational opportunities for school children, one an on-site program and the other a way to bring the museum to the classroom.
“Family Ties: Life with Sarah and Sam Doak” is a new program offered at the museum on the Tusculum College campus that will focus on life for the Doak family in the 19th century. “Doak on the Road” is a travel trunk full of items related to the Doak family and life in the 19th century that can be checked out by teachers for week-long use in their classroom as an alternative to a field trip. Both programs are designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The “Family Ties” program will be offered to school groups any time during the academic year. Students will learn about domestic life, hospitality and the way that the Doak family produced almost all of the food and goods they consumed. The program will be presented at four individual stations by museum educators dressed in period costume.
One station will focus on the role of prominent community members such as Samuel Witherspoon Doak, the co-founder of the college, and his wife Sarah. Students will be encouraged to think about hospitality and how the Doaks were obliged to treat visitors, boarders and travelers as they explore the central hall, dining room and bedrooms of the home.
Another station will be centered in the kitchen where students will learn about food production in the 1800s and the time and effort that women put into providing meals for a large household. Students will have the opportunity to use all five senses in hands-on activities in the kitchen from grinding herbs to making butter from cream.
In a third station, students will be able to explore the five acres of the Doak House property. They will learn about the chores the children were expected to do in the garden and how the family used the spring house. As life was not all work and no play for the Doak children, students will also enjoy some 19th century games.
A fourth station will help children learn how even a well-off family like the Doaks wasted nothing and learn how cloth, tools, furniture and other household goods were made, repaired, reused and re-made. Students will have the opportunity to make their own unique quilt pattern greeting card to take home as a memento of their visit.
The fee for the new program is $5 per students and $2.50 for parents with no charge for teachers, aides and bus drivers.
The Doak House Museum Travel Trunk is designed to be rented for a week-long stay in a classroom or brought to a school by a Doak House educator. An outreach program, the trunk is intended to provide an affordable alternative to field trips. When teachers rent the trunk, Doak House educators will provide comprehensive information to help teachers make the most of the program. During the week-long rental period, the trunk may be used in as many classrooms as the school staff wishes. The trunk is filled with a variety of hands-on materials, hand-outs and creative lessons that highlight the historic interpretation at the Doak House Museum.
Using materials inside the trunk, students will have the opportunity to learn how to make walnut and/or berry ink, write with a quill pen, play with 9th century toys and how to make bricks. The trunk will also help students learn about 19th century education grounded in civic virtue, discover how education differed for boys and girls in the 19th century and appreciate the Doak family’s contributions to the local area.
The travel trunk rental is $50 for one-week classroom rental and $75 for an on-site program led by a staff member of the Doak House Museum (additional mileage charge may apply for schools outside Greene County). The first five teachers who book the trunk will receive a 10 percent discount.
The Doak House Museum is one of two on campus administered by the college’s Department of Museum Program and Studies. The museum is the 19th century home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, co-founder of Tusculum College, and hosts thousands of school children from the region for a variety of educational programs related to the 19th century.
The Museums also administer the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library, which houses a special collection of items relating to the 17th president, the college’s archives, special themed exhibits and volumes from the institution’s original library. The museums are also two of the 10 structures on the Tusculum campus on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum department also offers one of the few undergraduate degree programs in museum studies in the country.