In-school Programs

Students will learn about life at sea aboard a 19th-century whaling ship from their very own classroom!

Imagine transporting the sights and sounds of a 19th-century village right into your 21st-century classroom. Students will climb aboard a whaling ship and travel the world while never leaving the school grounds! Mystic Seaport Educators bring the Museum’s collections to your class through a variety of programs. Activities can be tailored for multiple age groups and are designed for classroom-sized groups.

We offer a variety of in-school programs:


A Sailor’s Life

Grades Pre-K–1
Using artifacts, primary documents and historical photographs from Mystic Seaport’s collections, a Museum educator guides students as they unpack a sailor’s sea chest. Young people use the objects in the sea chest like clues, piecing together a picture of what a sailor’s life would have been like more than 100 years ago.

Life in a Seaport Town

Grades 2–8
Students compare and contrast 19th-century coastal living with their own lives in the 21st century, focusing on living conditions, industry, commerce and technology, using artifacts, primary documents and historical photographs from Mystic Seaport’s collection.

Whales, Whaling and Whalers

Grades 2–8
Students use the tools of the whaler and listen to the stories of life at sea aboard a whaling ship. A harpoon, samples of baleen, in addition to other artifacts and primary documents illustrate the dangerous and exciting work
of 19th-century whalers.

Skills and Trades of the 19th Century

Grades 3–8
Build a barrel right in your classroom. Set type and print on a portable 19th-century printing press in your classroom. Or forge metal like a shipsmith using our portable forge. Educators can choose from three different skills and trades: cooper, printer, and shipsmith. Students work directly with the cooper, printer, or shipsmith as they participate in hands-on activities that bring these trades to life.

Music on the Water

Grades Pre-K–12
Sing along with one of Mystic Seaport’s renowned musician educators. Our chantey staff can bring your curriculum to life with stories told through music. From the working music of the deep water sailors and coastal fisherman, to the tales of westward expansion through our inland waterways, to the cultural influences of music brought from far-flung ports, America’s rich musical heritage owes much to the way in which seafarers and river mariners carried music, musical instruments, and musicians from place to place. Students are invited to become crew members as they join in a chorus, picture the events in a ballad or use a chantey as a tool to help accomplish hard work like raising sail.

Music on the Morgan

The Charles W. Morgan is the last remaining wooden whaleship in the world–and she is at Mystic Seaport! In preparation to sail her in the summer of 2014, we are offering a special music program featuring the Morgan. The vessel’s long career covered a significant period of American history as the nation moved from whale oil to petroleum for fuel and lubricants. This interactive music program traces this history and the Morgan’s role within it.

Roleplayer In-School

Mystic Seaport roleplayers bring history to life as students have conversations with a person from the past. Roleplayers wear historically accurate costumes, and use artifacts and stories to create a fascinating glimpse into the 19th century.


Phases of the Moon

Grades K–8
Using hands-on activities and real-world math problems, students will learn about the phases of the moon and its relationship to earth, and the differences between large- and small-scale models.

Weather: Oceans of Air and of Water

Grades 4–8
What is weather? How is wind made? How does wind affect water? Using hands-on activities youth actively explore and discover how weather affects their environment.