Over the summer of 2010, the a collaborative effort between the Montgomery County Department of History & Archives, Old Fort Johnson National Historic Site and Fonda-Fultonville Central School's seventh-grade social studies teacher Holly Thompson produced a Colonial Life outreach kit. Containing reproductions of original primary source documents and artifacts, along with locally authored books and period music, the kit is designed to teach elementary and middle school students about life in the Mohawk Valley during the 18th century.
Teachers who use the kit in their classrooms can work from lesson plans that incorporate the items within the kit or adapt their own lessons. In times when budgetary constraints make it difficult for teachers to take students to local historic sites, this outreach kit is a "hands-on" teaching tool that brings the collections of the historic sites to the classrooms. Thompson says the kit brings "local archival materials out of their hiding places and into the hands of the local students who will someday inherit them."
The outreach kit has received positive feedback from the teachers who have already used the items in their lesson plans. While this kit focuses on colonial life, there are plans to develop additional outreach kits with respect to other areas of local history.
The kit is available to area teachers at no cost and can be signed out for a three-week period. For more information about viewing and/or reserving the kit, please contact Montgomery County Historian/RMO Kelly Yacobucci Farquhar at the Montgomery County Department of History & Archives, 518.853.8186.