Resources for Teachers

The DeKalb History Center recognizes the importance of incorporating local and state history into the classroom curriculum and is proud to support teachers in this endeavor. We offer school field trips throughout the year. Our Archives are also a great resource for teachers looking for primary documents or historic photos and maps to enrich their lessons. If you have any questions about these or other resources offered by the DeKalb History Center please contact us at or 404-373-1088 x 20.









Talking Walls Heritage Education Workshop for Teachers (not offered in 2016)


Box City


Sample Lesson Plans


History and Greek Architecture Scavenger Hunts








LIFE IN 1850

(held at the DeKalb History Center's Historic Complex on West Trinity Place in Decatur)

How did people live, work and play in the 19th century? Students visit the historic Swanton House and pioneer log cabins, encounter people from the past and learn about the mid-19th century. On this tour students meet an African American seamstress from the mid-nineteenth century; Zenith Twilley was a free woman of color in Decatur in1851. She worked as a weaver, seamstress, washer and irone. Students will also see a portrayal of Benjamin Swanton or Sarah Swanton while on the tour. Mr. Swanton wasan entrepreneur in Decatur in the 1850s. He came to Georgia initially to sell mining equipment after the Dahlonega Gold Rush of 1828, moved to Decatur and bought the Swanton House from Ammi Williams in 1852, and eventually owned a tannery, brickyard, grist mill and blacksmith shop. This tour is great for Georgia History and Early U.S. History.

1 hr. $8. Title 1 discount available.




(tour begins at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse in Decatur)

How did the war affect ordinary people? What actually happened here during the war? This guided tour includes a Civil War exhibit & downtown Decatur sites. Students learn about General Sherman, the Atlanta Campaign, the battle and the home front. Students get an overview of DeKalb's early history and learn about the events leading upto the war, including the secesssion convention of 1861. They will see a home built by Charles Murphey, one of DeKalb's Unionist representatives at the convention. Students learn baout Sherman's approach in 1864 and how events unfolded in the county, including descriptions of the Battle of Atlanta and Battle of Decatur. Students gain an understnding of how the war affected people here. What did enslaved people do? How did the women and children left at home react to the invading forces?

1 hr. & 15 mins. $8. Title 1 discount available.



(held at the DeKalb History Center's Historic Complex on West Trinity Place in Decatur)

How did the Indians of this area live and what happened to them? What happened when the settlers came? Students meet a Creek Indian or a Cherokee Indian in traditional nineteeenth century clothing. Students learn the history and culture of the first inhabitants of this area through demonstrations of tools and skills, and descriptions of houses, agriculture and beliefs. Students also visit the Swanton House and pioneer log cabins and meet early settlers, learning about life here in the mid-nineteenth century.

1.5 hours. $9. Title 1 discount available.







We think of her as one of the greatest Americans ever, but who was Harriett Tubman? This one-woman show about the life of an American hero teaches students about personal sacrifice and perseverance. Students learn about how Harriett Tubman gained her freedom and then went on to help hundreds of enslaved people escape to freedom through the network called the Underground Railroad. It is a great history lesson on slavery and the mid-nineteenth century. Students will want to know more. Harriett Tuman may be booked for performances at the historic courthouse or it can be performed at your school.


Call 404-373-1088, ext 20 for information or email Title 1 discount available.





SECOND GRADE HISTORY DAY: Oglethorpe, Tomochichi, Mary Musgrove and Sequoyah

(Oct. 5, 2016)

Would the Georgia Colony have survived without the help of the Yamacraw Indians? How did Oglethorpe and Tomochichi become great friends? Who were the colonists and why did they come? What was Mary Musgrove's role in the new Georgia Colony? How did Sequoyah get the idea for the Cherokee syllabary and what does it sound like spoken in the Cherokee language? Students learn about early days in Georgia'shistory when colonists from Europe made this strange new land their home. This professional living history program held at the DeKalb History Center's Historic Complex on West Trinity in Decatur is a must-see for 2nd-graders

(90 minutes, $11, title 1 discount available)



HISTORY ADVENTURE (Oct. 19-21, 2016)

This fascinating program has eight stations with professional living historians. Students meet Sequoyah, Oglethorpe, Mary Musgrove, a Revolutionary War soldier, Harriett Tubman, Creek Indians, and early DeKalb settlers. They hear mountain music and listen to traditional African tales while visiting historic homes and cabins. There are presentations of Native American skills. All presenters are professional actors and living historians and they leave students feeling energized about Georgia History or Early U.S. History. The different days are tailored to the curriculum needs of specific grade levels to optimize learning and enhance what you teach in the classroom.

Georgia History Days, Oct. 19-20 (2 hours, $11)

Early U.S. History Day Oct. 21 (2 hours, $11)




Want an incredible field trip while you're studying the Civil War? Students take a Civil War walking tour of the Decatur Square that focuses on the Atlanta Campaign, the Battle of Atlanta, the Siege of Atlanta, and Sherman's March to the Sea. They also see a one-woman play about a Roswell mill worker who became a prisoner of war. Hariett Tubman tells students about her life and about the Underground Railroad. Through theater, living history and learning about real people, students form new connections to the past. 5th grade and 8th grade curricula are at the heart of this program.

(2 hours, $11, title 1 discount available)




How were our rights and freedoms won? Paul Revere, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Susan B. Anthony were three American heroes who helped determine the nature of our democracy today. Third graders take a look at our country's development from a colony with limited freedom through the American Revolution, the abolition of slavery, and the women's suffrage movement. Professional actors bring life to these transformative leaders and engage students in interactive learning.

(90 minutes, $11, title 1 discount available)


 Call 404-373-1088, ext 20 for information or email



Civil Rights Day (Feb. 2017)

Grades 2-12. Meet Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks in this one-hour two-person play entitled Struggle for Freedom. This play celebrates the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the context of the American Civil Rights Movement. Featuring songs from the era, this production engages your students in the heroic work of Rosa Parks as she refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. It portrays the March on Washington as seen through the eyes of Dr. King and shows students many more of the key moments that shaped both the Movement and our country.

(90 minutes, $11 per student, title 1 discount available)




Fourth Grade History Day (part 2), March 8, 2017 First Contact:  European Explorers Come to North America 

Actor Barry Stewart Mann and his partner dramatize the first meetings between explorers - Columbus, Cartier, and Hudson - and the native communities they met - the Taino, Huron, and Mahicans - with primary sources, authentically-styled costumes, and audience interaction. This is a great review before spring testing begins. (1 hour, $11 per student, title 1 discount available)



Jackie Robinson

Second Grade History Day (part 2), March 9, 2017

Students meet Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson and Jimmy Carter in this curriculum-based program for second graders. Leadership comes in manyforms and students see how these three men used their talents to forward Civil Rights and human progress. From the ground-breaking work of MLK to the determination of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and the presidency of Jimmy Carter, students learn about the influence one person can have in shaping values and creating a better world.

(90 minutes, $11, title 1 discount available)



Third Grade History Day (part 2), March 22-23, 2017

Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, LBJ, and Cesar Chavez. One of our most compelling school programs, the Third Grade History Day is entertaining, educational and full of inspiration. Students encounter Eleanor Roosevelt, whose work and life shaped our society, Thurgood Marshall, America's first African-American Supreme Court justice, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th U.S. president, and Cesar Chavez, founder of United Farm Workers. Our professional actors bring these historic figures to life and interact with students to make this program lively and engaging.

(90 minutes, $11, title 1 discount available)