for younger students in Grades 2-6, children are
immersed in the daily lives of children on a
Plantation using hands-on activities that illustrate
work, games, education, clothing, behavior, and food
using the backdrop of Sotterley Plantation’s
outbuildings and gardens. Students compare the lives
of these children to their own experiences. Students
complete a Colonial craft to take home.
Slavery to Freedom
learn to appreciate what the life of an American
enslaved family was like who lived and labored
at Sotterley Plantation during the Civil War Era
by participating in hands-on activities at our
original slave quarter and outbuildings.
Students will also hear the words of a Sotterley
slave descendant and discover what historians
must use to tell the story of the enslaved by
piecing together artifacts, primary documents,
oral history and other regional resources.
Students will learn how to collect their own
family’s oral history so they can begin to piece
together their own stories. This program was
developed for middle school students.
Living on the Patuxent
for grades 4-8, this program is designed to give
students an historical overview of life along the
Patuxent River. Students learn how the native people
and early colonists used the natural resources
available for the settlement of the region and how
it shaped social and economic activity in the
1700’s. Students will work with primary documents
and participate in a Triangular Trade exercise and a
hands-on activity at Sotterley’s waterfront.
hands-on activities and teamwork, students will
learn about soil stratigraphy and the guidelines for
archaeological excavation. Students will work with a
grid, excavate, sift, wash, and record artifacts and
will be guided in the identification and
interpretation of these artifacts as they pertain to
Sotterley’s history using primary documents.
Appropriate for grades 4-7.
To Live Enslaved
the backdrop of Sotterley’s historic buildings and
site, this program includes an in-depth study and
discussion about chattel slavery that existed at
Sotterley for 165 years, using primary documents,
oral history, and other regional resources, students
connect the ramifications of slavery to our shared
history and how it still has an effect on our
culture today. Recommended for 9th grade and above.
Loyalist to Patriot
Sotterley’s historic setting, this program was
developed to enhance the study of our national and
state government during the transformation of the
colony to a state. Using primary documents such as
letters, congressional records, and financial
records, students will use role play and debate to
see through the eyes of our founding citizens and
the affects of these decisions on the daily lives of
all the people of the community, state, and the
nation. Recommended for 9th grade and above.
Look at the
calendar to see what dates may be available that may
work for you. Call 301-373-2280, or
department at Sotterley to confirm the availability
of the date you are trying to book.
Read, fill out, and return a
form. Call 301-373-2280, or
e-mail if you have questions. Full
payment using the correct price for your school is
required by check, cash, or credit card upon arrival
unless other arrangements are made in advance.
Numbers of students, teachers, and chaperones are
important pieces of information for logistics and
staffing. Please give a close estimate. If your
numbers change drastically, let us know.
A maximum group size of approximately 60 students
per trip is recommended. For larger schools and
groups, it may be better to split into two groups
and come on multiple days. Be aware that larger
groups will lose some of the small-group learning
benefits. All programs divide into 3 or 4 smaller
groups usually and rotate in stations, depending on
the program chosen.
Please give a close estimate about time of arrival
and departure. Students can arrive no earlier than 9
AM. Usually, programs begin anywhere from 9-10:30
am. They can last up to 3 hours, not including
lunch, but we adapt depending on your departure
time. We know that circumstances are always hard to
predict exactly. If you know you are going to be
late, give us a call. Everyone is happier when there
is good communication. Sotterley staff and
instructors adapt readily to changing situations and
Lunch can be worked into your program or saved for
the end, but you need to let us know your
preferences in advance. We provide
an area for students to eat their bag lunches on
site if needed.
Sotterley operates rain or shine and will not cancel
unless entire school systems close or cancel
activities because of emergencies or extreme weather
warnings. Students, teachers, and chaperones should
dress in comfortable clothes and shoes appropriate
for weather conditions. Sotterley’s programs already
adapt for weather conditions. There is outdoor
walking required for all programs. Some areas at
Sotterley are not wheelchair accessible. Call to
find out details.
Once your trip is booked and confirmed, teachers
will have access to some pre and post activities to
prepare and enhance the experience. Many materials
are already available on the web site.
Get your students ready to visit one of the most
unique and beautiful historic sites in the nation
where three centuries of stories and history of all
who lived here are told. After the trip, teachers
will be asked for feedback on their experiences at
- nice link on how to plan a field trip!
- the educational value of field trips!
Check teacher resources in your district, they may
have their own check-list. Use the experience and
knowledge of those that have planned and gone
before! Visit the site before you plan the trip!
Give your students the experiences and memories of
learning for a lifetime. Good planning,
communication, and plenty of information ahead of
time will allow you to adapt quickly to changing
circumstances and make for a more pleasant and less
stressful field trip experience for all!
For more information, contact
Jeanne Pirtle, Sotterley Education Director: