Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

Digital Lesson Plans

To All Our Teachers,

We hope you find our new digital engagement page a useful tool.  As we continue to navigate through this COVID-19 crisis we are doing our best to work collaboratively with educators, administrators and classroom teachers to provide high quality content for students. We are excited to be able to bring our museum to you through this digital platform and we encourage you to let us know what other programs you would like to see on line.

In order to access the lesson plans and videos, please fill out the access form. It will help us keep track of our users and will provide feedback as we continue to be a source of education and information. Please contact the Education Department at with any questions.

All METC education programs are created to inspire learners of all ages to ask questions about the world around us. Using the history of the early New Jerseyans as our backdrop, our programs emphasize the intersections of history and cultural heritage in New Jersey and support the NJ State educational curriculum.

📄 Get Access Codes

Please click the button below to fill out the form to access our lesson plans. After the form is submitted, you will receive an email by the end of the day with the passwords for your selected lesson plans.

Decoding the Past

Best for 4th – 8th Grades

What could this object be? What was it used for? What does it tell us about life in earlier times? Examine some of the Museum’s more mysterious artifacts, and have fun trying to figure out what they were. Explore the museum’s exhibits to discover and “decode” other unfamiliar objects.

School Days

Best for 2nd – 5th Grades

In this program, students discover what it was like to attend a one-room schoolhouse in 19th century America, exploring a variety of “school supplies” to compare school life and learning in the 19th versus 21st centuries. They can also practice their penmanship, a common lesson for students in the 19th century.

A Child's Life

Best for 1st – 4th Grades

What was it like to be a child living in Early American times? Was it very different from how children live today, or are there similarities? Children will experience a day in the life of an Early American child, problem-solve the challenges they would face and learn about fun and games in the 1800s.

Challenges & Choices: Immigrant Experiences in 19th Century New Jersey

Best for 3rd – 8th Grades

Explore the difficult challenges immigrants encountered in the mid-1800s. Students will experience what it meant to travel from far away countries to settle in New Jersey by stepping into the immigrants’ shoes and packing actual 19th century objects as they take on the roles of real 19th century New Jersey immigrants.

Simple Machines

Best for 1st – 4th Grades

Early Americans developed tools to save time and energy using simple machines. Explore the functions of the inclined plane, screw, lever, wedge, wheel & axle, and pulley through hands-on examination of the Museum’s artifacts. In cooperative learning groups, present findings to the class.

The American Revolution in New Jersey

Best for 4th – 8th Grades

This program explores the impact of the American Revolution on New Jersey civilians through the lens of groups such as Tories, enslaved people, iron workers, farmers, housewives and tavern keepers. Enhanced by METC’s collection of 18th century artifacts, this program offers students the opportunity to view this conflict through a variety of perspectives. A creative writing exercise completes the program.

Digital Lesson Plan Access Form

Digital Lesson Plan Access Form
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