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Photo: Daniel Sheehan

Education at MOHAI

MOHAI’s wide range of hands-on, educational programs make local history come alive for students at every grade level. Diverse offerings include on-site museum field trips and off-site Portable Museum rentals, with scholarship funding support available for those that qualify.

At the Museum

Come to MOHAI for a hands-on experience students will always remember. At the museum, classes have the opportunity to explore exhibits through self-guided activities and uniquely themed inquiry-based programs led by MOHAI educators.

MOHAI’s highly facilitated, hands-on field trip programs use authentic historic materials to promote teamwork, creativity, communication, visual literacy, critical thinking, observation, and problem solving skills. All guided programs are aligned with Washington’s educational standards, including Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs), Common Core, and 21st Century Skills. Guided programs are available for K–Grade 8 students, and self-guided visits are offered for all ages.

MOHAI’s field trip calendar books up quickly—be sure to make a reservation early. Scholarships and bus reimbursement funds are available to schools that qualify.

Please note, there has been a pricing change for field trips effective January 24, 2017.

Field Trips

miniMOHAI

miniMOHAI is specifically designed to give early learners a fun, hands-on experience at the museum, and is available as both a school and family program series. Grade Level: Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Children and chaperones explore interactive pop-up activity stations together through self-guided activities that accommodate each group’s pace. Stations and activities share a common learning theme that can be extended to the classroom. Choose one of four themes (Building the City, Farm to Food, Going West, or Transportation Innovations) and three out of six stations (story time, dramatic play, math and patterns, crafts, fine motor, or large motor). Larger groups may book all six stations upon request.

Grade Level: Pre-K and Kindergarten

Price: $100 for use of 3 stations, $200 for use of all 6 stations

Duration: 45 minutes–2 hours

Available: Monday–Friday, 10 am–3 pm

Accommodations: Up to 90 students

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

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Creating Our Community

This guided program offers students an in-depth look at the working life of early Puget Sound residents. Grade Level: K–Grade 2.

Through role-playing activities and hands-on artifact analysis, students experience the daily routines of various workers while learning how these occupations work together within a community, both in history and today. Visit includes additional self-guided gallery time.

Grade Level: K–Grade 2

Price: $180 per group of 10-30 students

Duration: 1 hour per group

Available: School year only (Sept.–June); Monday–Friday, 10 am–1 pm

Accommodations: 30 students max per program, up to 4 programs (120 students) per day; one chaperone for every five students required, up to one chaperone for every two students (additional chaperones must pay regular admission rates).

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

Book Now

Cracking the History Code: Settling Around the Sound

A part of the Cracking the History Code series, this guided program engages students in a game that uses real artifacts, photos, and documents to uncover historical events. Grade Level: Grades 3-5.

Students investigate the challenges that faced five different groups of people traveling to or living in the Puget Sound region during its early history. Visit includes additional self-guided gallery time.

Grade Level: Grades 3-5

Price: $180 per group of 10-30 students

Duration: 1 hour per group

Available: School year only (Sept.–June); Monday–Friday, 10 am–1 pm

Accommodations: 30 students max per program, up to 4 programs (120 students) per day; one chaperone for every five students required, up to one chaperone for every two students (additional chaperones must pay regular admission rates)

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

Book Now

Cracking the History Code: Salish Stories

A part of the Cracking the History Code series, Salish Stories focuses on the Coast Salish communities of the Puget Sound. Grade Level: Grades 3-5.

Students play a game that involves listening to stories, looking at historic photos, and handling artifacts crafted by local artists to discover the culture, history, language, and lifeways of Puget Sound’s first peoples. Visit includes additional self-guided gallery time.

Grade Level: Grades 3-5

Price: $180 per group of 10-30 students

Duration: 1 hour per group

Available: School year only (Sept.–June); Monday–Friday, 10 am–1 pm

Accommodations: 30 students max per program, up to 4 programs (120 students) per day; one chaperone for every five students required, one chaperone for every two students (additional chaperones must pay regular admission rates)

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

Book Now

The Significance of Salmon

Students investigate the important role of salmon in the Pacific Northwest in this joint program offered by MOHAI and the Center for Wooden Boats. Grade Level: Grades 4-8.

Classes rotate between both locations and participate in a variety of hands-on activities, gallery exploration, and a boat outing to learn about the history of salmon as a resource and the stewardship of salmon populations today.

Grade Level: Grades 4-8

Price: $220 per class of 10-30 students; includes $40 non-scholarship-eligible resource fee

Duration: 2 hours for 2 classes (40-60 students), 1 additional hour per each additional class

Available: School year only (Sept.–June); Tuesday–Friday, 10 am–2 pm

Accommodations: 30 students max per program, up to 4 programs (120 students) per day; one chaperone for every five students required, one chaperone for every two students (additional chaperones must pay regular admission rates)

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

Please note, this program requires a minimum of 2 classes (at least 40 students).

Book Now

Self-Guided Field Trips

A self-guided field trip is ideal for groups who wish to bring their own activity and explore at their own pace. Grade Level: Pre-K–Grade 12.

MOHAI educators greet groups, offer storage for lunches and backpacks, and are available to answer questions throughout the visit. Activities are required for self-guided field trips, and MOHAI-made scavenger hunts are also available for use in small, chaperone-led groups.

Grade Level: Pre-K–Grade 12

Price: $40 per group of 1-30 students

Duration: Any (2 hours is recommended)

Available: All year; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5 pm

Accommodations: Up to 150 students; one chaperone for every five students required

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

Please note:

Book a school year field trip

Book a summer field trip

Unscheduled Field Trip Days

Due to a high demand for field trips, MOHAI has set aside Unscheduled Field Trip Days as special dates when student groups may visit the museum for a self-guided field trip without a reservation. Schools who were unable to secure a reservation for field trips during the school year are invited to come on these days.

Please RSVP to education@mohai.org with information regarding intention to come on one of the listed days, your school name, estimated arrival and departure times, number of students, and grade level. Upon arriving at the museum, please go to the School Group Entrance where MOHAI educators will be waiting for your group to give an introduction to the museum and process payment. Standard chaperone requirements apply. Paper scavenger hunts, pencils, and clipboards are available; first-come, first-served.

Grade Level: Pre-K–Grade 12

Price: $40 per group of 1-30 students

Duration: Any (2 hours is recommended)

Available: May 18, 2018; May 25, 2018; June 6, 2018; 10 am–2 pm

Accommodations: Up to 150 students; one chaperone for every five students required

Download details about Unscheduled Field Trip Days

Contact the Education Department

Summer Field Trips

Groups visiting during the summer can explore the museum on a self-guided field trip. Grade Level: Pre-K–Grade 12.

Activities for the visit are strongly encouraged. MOHAI also offers a paper scavenger hunt, developed for a wide range of grade levels to help guide groups. However, teachers and camp counselors are urged to bring their own self-guided gallery activity to structure students’ time in the museum.

Grade Level: Pre-K–Grade 12.

Price: $40 per group of 1-30 students

Duration: Any (2 hours is recommended)

Available: Summer months only (June–Sept.); Monday–Friday, 10 am–5 pm

Accommodations: Up to 150 students; one chaperone for every five students required

Visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance to guarantee availability.

Please note:

  • Advance booking is required to receive the group discount.
  • Regular field trip programs are not available during the summer.

Book Now

College Group Visits

Self-guided and personalized guided tours of the museum are available for higher learning students and their professors.

Learn More

Tips for a Successful Field Trip

Answers to the most commonly asked questions when planning a field trip to MOHAI.
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Bus Parking Information

Find out where to park buses and ways to navigate South Lake Union.
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Make a Field Trip Reservation

Book a field trip at MOHAI and discover history in new ways.
Book a Field Trip

Scholarships

Each year, over 200 schools from over 30 school districts participate in MOHAI’s school-based education programs. Costs associated with visiting the museum can create barriers for some schools and educational groups, though. MOHAI’s educational scholarships help provide greater access to the museum and the history of the Puget Sound region.

MOHAI offers scholarships to schools and student groups for both field trips and Portable Museum program rentals. The scholarship program serves learners to ensure no student is ever turned away because of financial limitations.

In the Classroom

MOHAI’s Portable Museum Program provides hands-on learning to students using primary source materials, as well as standards-aligned lesson plans and additional content for educators. Portable Museum Trunks and Kits are a great alternative to or extension of a MOHAI field trip.

Portable Museum Programs

Erin Chen, Seattle World School

Portable Museum Trunks and Kits contain artifacts, historical photographs, documents, slideshows, digital media, and an extensive Teacher’s Manual with lesson plans and activities that can be modified to meet individual class needs.

Trunks cover more expansive content areas and include two weeks’ worth of lesson plans. Kits include fewer, more targeted lessons focused on particular topics. Lesson plans target specific grade levels depending on the trunk or kit topic, but contents are suitable for all ages of K-12 students and materials can be adapted to any grade level. Portable Museum rentals must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance.

Portable Museum Trunk Topics

Coast Salish Culture

EALR alignments: Grade 5 — Explore the rich cultural history of the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest, through art, stories, historic events, and the objects of daily life.

Coast Salish communities have a unique and deep history in the Pacific Northwest. Through independent and collaborative primary resource investigations of authentic materials from native communities, students learn about Coast Salish life in past times and today.

EALR alignments: Grade 5

Size: 18” x 18” x 20”

Cost: $50 for two week rental; $25 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Sample Trunk artifacts:

  • Blue glass trade bead
  • Bone awl
  • Hand woven blanket
  • Western cedar bark
  • Fish club

Exploration and Trade

EALR alignments: Grade 4 — Explorers from around the world came to the Pacific Northwest to trade. Students learn about who these pioneers were, how they traveled, and what they traded.

Explorers embarked on perilous journeys to chart territory and trade for valuable items. Students learn who notable explorers were, what drew them to the Pacific Northwest, and how they navigated through waterways and over land. Primary resources guide collaborative investigations that challenge students to see a new perspective and engage in hands-on learning.

EALR alignments: Grade 4

Size: 18” x 18” x 20”

Cost: $50 for two week rental; $25 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Sample Trunk artifacts:

  • Peace and friendship medal
  • River otter fur
  • Sextant
  • Flint and steel with tinderbox
  • Tea brick

Settlement in Puget Sound

EALR alignments: Grade 4 — The Oregon Trail brought many people to the Pacific Northwest. Learn about the daily life of early settlers and the reasons that ultimately brought them out West.

Settlers who came to the Pacific Northwest along the Oregon Trail made the journey for many different reasons. Students use artifacts and other primary resources to study the people that made the journey, what motivated them, and what day-to-day life was like. In addition, students discuss the complex early encounters between settlers and the Native American communities already living here.

EALR alignments: Grade 4

Size: 18” x 18” x 20”

Cost: $50 for two week rental; $25 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Sample Trunk artifacts:

  • Cornhusk doll
  • Buffalo chip
  • Butter mold
  • Seed spreader disk
  • Washboard

The Years of Growth & Change

EALR alignments: Grade 3 — The Pacific Northwest experienced significant growth and change in the Pacific Northwest between 1870 and 1910. Students uncover innovations in daily life and industry.

Daily life changed as innovations were made in household chores, food, homes, and transportation. Students dive into an interactive investigation of day-to-day life during these years, comparing and contrasting the changes that shaped the growth of this region.

EALR alignments: Grade 3

Size: 18” x 18” x 20”

Cost: $50 for two week rental; $25 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Sample Trunk artifacts:

  • Stereopticon
  • Carbide lantern
  • Sears catalog
  • Cylinder record
  • Railroad spike

The WWII Homefront Experience

EALR alignments: Grade 7 — World War II brought global distress, but how did these events shape Seattle? Through artifact investigations, students explore the home-front experience.

The home-front experience during World War II brought many changes to daily life in the Pacific Northwest. Students use primary resources to investigate workforce changes, the effects of rationing, and how each person was urged to “do their part.” This trunk also includes an introduction to Japanese American Internment and recommendations for additional resources on this topic.

EALR alignments: Grade 7

Size: 18” x 18” x 20”

Cost: $50 for two week rental; $25 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Sample Trunk artifacts:

  • Air raid handbook
  • Ration and food stamp books
  • Blackout lightbulb
  • Gas mask
  • Life and Family Circle magazines

Portable Museum Kit Topics

Discovering Seattle Stories Early Learning Kit

Grade Level: Recommended for Pre-K–Grade 1 — Discover the history of Seattle through the Great Seattle Fire in 1889 using artifacts and an interactive story.

This Kit introduces students to basic artifact analysis, and tells the history of Seattle using objects from the era. Students make and share their objects as part of an interactive story and learn the history of Seattle from settlement through the Great Seattle Fire. This lesson takes approximately 40 minutes and includes additional extension activities using the artifacts.

Grade Level: Recommended for Pre-K–Grade 1

Size: 23.5” x 35” x 23.5”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

The Years of Growth & Change Dig Deep CBA Kit

Grade Level: Grade 4 — The years from 1870-1910 marked a time of change in the Puget Sound region. Discover the innovations and industries that altered the way Washington residents lived their everyday lives.

Use primary sources to dig deeper into years of rapid growth and change in Seattle’s past, and learn what daily life was like for early settlers during the time of railroad expansion, the growth of many industries, and the Great Seattle Fire. This kit is a smaller variation on the Years of Growth & Change Trunk, and was developed in partnership with the Bellevue School District specifically for use with the Dig Deep and People on the Move Classroom-Based Assessments.

Grade Level: Grade 4

Size: 15” x 18” x 11”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Century 21 Exposition Kit

Grade Level: Recommended for Grades 5-12 — Uncover the history and themes of Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair as it relates to both the city’s past and future using images, events, and objects from this historic events

The 1962 World’s Fair was a pivotal turning point for Seattle as it gained global recognition and made iconic changes to the physical and cultural landscape of the city. Students analyze the history, context, and broader cultural themes of this significant event, as well as the differences between it and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909.

Grade Level: Recommended for Grades 5-12

Size: 15” x 18” x 11”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 per additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Maritime Kit

Grade Level: Recommended for Grades 5-8 — Examine the maritime history of Puget Sound, nautical communication methods, shipyards, and navigation.

The Maritime Kit is offered in partnership with the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. Topics include the history of trade and immigration, maritime signal flags, knot tying, and nautical charts. Students develop skits, complete an art project, go on a treasure hunt, and more.

Grade Level: Recommended for Grades 5-8

Size: 22.5” x 16.5” x 16.5”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 for additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Digging the Lake Kit

Grade Level: Recommended for Grades 3-8 — Students are introduced to the various themes that make up the history and geography of an urban lake, using the Lake Union Underwater Archaeology Project as a focus

The Digging the Lake Kit is offered in partnership with the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society and the Center for Wooden Boats. The construction of Lake Union was an integral part to the economic development of Seattle. Photos, videos, maps, suggested activities, and even real dive gear help students to learn about methods of historical research, and the role of underwater archaeology.

Grade Level: Recommended for Grades 3-8

Size: 18” x 31” x 14”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 for additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Elementary Seattle Film Kit

Grade Level: Grades 4-7 — This Kit focuses on film’s role in history and how Seattle’s history and events have been represented on film

By practicing primary source analysis and examining film clips, students consider the intentions behind films and whether they are meant to be true representations of people and events or dramatic reinterpretations. Students then consider what kind of film they would create to tell a historical story, and work in groups to develop a film project.

Grade Level: Grades 4-7

Size: 15” x 18” x 11”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 for additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Secondary Seattle Film Kit

Grade Level: Grades 8-12 — This Kit focuses on film’s role in history and how Seattle’s history and events have been represented on film

Students investigate the intentions behind films, the legitimacy of representations and interpretations of people and events during primary source analysis and examining film clips. Students then consider what kind of film they would create to tell a historical story, and work in groups to develop a film project.

Grade Level: Grades 8-12

Size: 15” x 18” x 11”

Cost: $30 for 2 week rental; $15 for additional week. Late returns are subject to a fine.

Portable Museum Guidelines

Answers to the most commonly asked questions when when booking a Portable Museum Program.
Learn more

Portable Museum Reservations

Make history come alive and request a Portable Museum Trunk or Kit.
Book a Portable Museum

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Educator Resources

MOHAI is a great resource for all students and educators. Looking for classroom or professional development tools? MOHAI offers pre- and post-visit materials, online curricula, and special opportunities just for educators.

Online Curriculum

Use history curricula made by MOHAI educators in the classroom.
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Activities, Guides, and Teacher Tools

MOHAI offers many other resources for educators to improve their in-gallery and in-class experiences.
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Educator Opportunities

From special Educator Nights to other professional development events, MOHAI has many opportunities for teachers and educators.
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Education Program Supporters

Thank you to these generous sponsors for supporting MOHAI’s educational programming.