Step out of the classroom, and into the dynamic learning environment of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. Our docent-led tours offer students the chance to explore daily life in the 19th century and make connections between the past and present.  We encourage active learning, with plenty of interactive experiences that enable students to see what it was like to live, work, and play in Western New York in the past. At the Village, everyone has the unique opportunity to see, hear, feel, smell, taste and experience early American history up close.

The outdoor portion of the tour takes place outside in Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village’s historic 19th century village. Students will make personal connections with history through participatory and engaging programming. They will be led by a docent through our 11 historic buildings, including 6 houses, 2 schoolhouses, a barber shop, a church, and a reproduction blacksmith shop. During this guided tour students will experience childhood in the nineteenth century, by going to school at Williamsville School, sitting at their desks, and doing their schoolwork with slate and chalk. They will also learn about home life and life on a farm by doing chores, performing a shadow play, and looking through a stereoscope!

Students, K-8, will explore state and local history; time, continuity, and change, the Erie Canal, Civic and Pioneer life.  Our Erie Canal Exhibit and Pioneer Kitchen Exhibit offer enriching experiences that allow students the chance to role play, use their imaginations, and use critical thinking skills as they examine artifacts and compare these items to their modern counterparts.

Pre-Visit Packet: Grades K-4. This is a pre-visit packet that can be used as an introduction to our museum. 

Local History Lesson Plan: Grades 7-8. This packet includes primary sources, and several standalone activities that can be used as a pre-visit introduction to our museum or as enrichment activities in the classroom. 


Educational Offerings

Please contact the Director of Education and Museum Historian, Jenny Nickeson, at jnickeson@bnhv.org for more information.

Outreach

  • Primary
    • Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village will come to you!  Museum educators bring toys, games, chalkboards, and artifacts into the classroom to explore the past in an interactive manner.  Students can touch, feel, and use these objects in your classroom. Our programming is designed to fit with the Common Core curriculum. The program will cover how children dressed, their chores, and what they did for fun in the 19th century, and will include historic toys and games, butter churning, and other hands on experiences.
    • Topics: Schools; Yesterday and Today; At Home in the Nineteenth Century; Toys and Games
  • Intermediate
    • Using Primary Sources—Students will be introduced to primary sources and taught how to analyze and think critically about historical sources. Our Museum Educator will bring a variety of primary sources focused on the teacher’s topic of choice. This 40 minute program will be interactive, asking the students to examine artifacts using all of their senses, evaluate their credibility, then use the sources to create a narrative history.
    • Topics: Erie Canal, Homesteading in Western New York, Comparing Everyday Life in the 19th Century, and Suburbanization in Western New York

Internships

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is proud to offer internships to students from local colleges and universities. Our trained staff partners one-on-one with each student to create a worthwhile internship that grants students meaningful, hands-on work experience in a professional environment.

  • Museum Assistant Internship
    • The Museum Assistant Internship offers experience in Education, Guest Services, Marketing and Development, Research, Special Events, and Volunteer Management. To inquire about a Museum Assistant Internship at BNHV, please email info@bnhv.org. Please note, a minimum commitment of 8 hours per week over a 14 week period is required. Only students currently enrolled in a college or university are eligible. Students must have reliable transportation. Cover letter and resume required to apply.
  • Public History Internship for Graduate Students
    • Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is proud to offer an internship specially designed for Public History graduate students.  Our Public History Internship gives graduate students experience in educational programming.  Students will create a small exhibit which will be prominently displayed in the front lobby of our museum, which sees 20,000 visitors annually including 6,000 students.  Students will also work one-on-one with trained staff to develop an educational program, which they will present to the public as part of our Young Academics Speaker Series.
    • Requirements: Students must be enrolled in a graduate History program. A cover letter, CV, 2 faculty references, and a writing sample that demonstrates research and writing ability are required. Please note, a minimum commitment of 8 hours per week over a 14 week period is required.  Student must have reliable transportation.
    • Please contact jnickeson@bnhv.org or rravago@bnhv.org for more information.
  • Young Academics Speaker Series
    • Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village strives to create a dynamic learning environment in our community. This year we are proud to introduce our Young Academics Speaker Series. This series will spotlight the exciting new work of young academics and students at our local colleges. The Young Academics Speaker Series will allow young academics the chance to present their work to the public. This series is not limited to topics that cover the WNY region.

Scouting

  • Girl Scouts
    • Coming soon.
  • Boy ScoutS
    • Coming soon.